As we start the school year, we are paying close attention to creating a safe and welcoming school environment. It is important to us that students focus on learning together in every classroom. As you may know, last spring, some schools in our district participated in a pilot program aimed at learning about the impact of social media use at school.
The Madison School District allows students to possess cell phones while on school property or while attending school-sponsored related activities on or off school property. However, we know they can cause disruption inside and outside of the classroom, so we want to set clear expectations for the use of cell phones this year.
Learning is our priority at La Follette. Student cell phones must remain turned off, out of sight, and not used during instructional times unless permitted by the teacher for instructional purposes. Students may use their cell phone during the designated lunch period, in the hallways between class periods, and before/after school. Students who violate the cell phone usage expectations will be subject to the District’s Behavior Education Plan (BEP).
School staff may also confiscate cell phones when school routines and expectations are not followed. All students will be asked to “power down” and put their phones away before the bell rings. Students who do not put their phone away will be redirected by the teacher to follow the cell phone policy and will be directed to put the device in a secure location in the classroom. The teacher will return the device to the student at the end of class. If a student refuses to put their phone in the secure location in the classroom, the phone will then be turned in to the main office, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be contacted by school staff, and the phone will be returned to the student at the end of the day. For repeated behaviors, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be required to pick up the phone in person at school.
This is also a good time to talk with your student about digital citizenship and internet safety. We have resources online, at mmsd.org/digital-citizens to support these conversations.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. We’re looking forward to partnering with you to build a strong school climate this year.
Principal, La Follette High School