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Herndon HS cracks down on ‘all-time high’ student cell phone use

Herndon High School sign (via FCPS)

In an effort to curb cell phone use, Herndon High School is implementing a school-wide ban on cell phone and headphone use in all classes.

The policy went into effect yesterday (Monday) after what Principal Liz Noto called an “all time high” of student phone use.

Noto offered an update to the school community about the policy change over spring break.

Students will still be able to use their phone during lunch time and passing times, according to the letter. Once class begins, phones must be turned off and put away.

The school outlined a number of exceptions to the rule, including using phones to monitor medical conditions and specific documented learning needs.

Teachers can also provide students with a five-minute phone break during class and use cell phones for specific learning activities.

Here’s more from Noto’s update:

We want you to know that we value your communication with your child. If you need to urgently get in touch with your child and waiting for the end of the class period or for a five-minute cell phone break during class will not suffice, please call the main office at 703-810-2200 and we will help you reach your student.

Teachers will be following through on this new policy very diligently. It is our priority to engage you student in learning and this is a major step toward that goal. Please help reiterate the importance of this new policy with your student. Thank you for your continued support.

FCPS was not immediately available for comment on the policy, but the school system does let students use their personal devices to access the Internet and collaborate with other students during the day, according to its technology policy.

Phones can be pulled out if teachers allow it.

The policy changed in 2011 when cell phones had to be out of sight at all times.

The change comes as counties across the state embrace the potential advantages of cell phone use in academic settings. Suffolk County, for example, encourages students to use cell phones to access information online and play subject-related games.