Helena High School announces new cell phone policy for upcoming school year

Published 10:06 am Thursday, July 14, 2022

By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

 HELENA – Beginning at the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Helena High School will implement a new cell phone policy with its students.

The school announced that it will start enforcing that students keep their cell phones out of sight while in class and will only be able to use them during certain times.

“We believe in the importance of face-to-face interaction,” the school’s statement read. “As such, we are not going to allow cell phone use during the day because we believe that our students connecting with one another is more important than students connecting to their phones. We also know that learning requires academic engagement and specific habits and cell phones don’t support these habits. Simply put, cell phones don’t support our school community’s connection and growth.”

Cindy Warner, communications manager for Shelby County Schools, said the Shelby County district previously had a “Bring Your Own Device Policy” where students could use their smart phones for classroom purposes in place of laptop. Now that the district has become a 1:1 technology district, meaning one laptop per student, all students have access to technology to complete their assignments, making cell phone use during class unnecessary.

“Oak Mountain High School made a similar decision last school year,” Warner said. “Students at Oak Mountain High School are allowed to use their phones during certain times – Soar60 Advisory, lunch –  or when a teacher gives them explicit directions allowing their use during instructional time. Otherwise, they are supposed to be kept on silent in their backpacks.”

Exact procedures and consequences regarding the new policy will be discussed at the start of the school year during class meetings.