Digital Citizenship Policy

Context

The 21st century learner has access to cell phones, Ipods, laptops, and tablets. These devices can certainly be helpful learning tools assisting students with web browsing, voice recording, filming, calculating and many other tasks. Many experts predict students will require handheld devices as an integral part of their learning experience within the next 5 years. Our renovation and construction has resulted in our students having wireless access at almost any location on school grounds. As such, it makes sense that we move from policy of written policy of prohibition (with a very different reality) to a policy of responsible digital citizenship.

Policy

Individual teachers will set the electronic device policy in their own classroom. Safety concerns in some areas may mean that cell phones and Ipods are not permitted in the work area at all. Each teacher should include his/her policy on his/her course outline as well as post the policy in the room for students to see. At the beginning of the year each individual teacher will explicitly teach his/her policy with additional review of the policy occurring throughout the year. As well, administration will cover off general digital citizenship guidelines throughout the school year.

General Guidelines

All use of electronic devices (including cell phones, Ipods, laptops, computers etc) must be consistent the general guidelines of our Code of Conduct. Students are reminded that any harassment or bullying of other students using electronic devices is strictly prohibited. Further, students are reminded that even if the harassing or bullying behavior occurs away from the school, the Code of Conduct may require the school to act in any situation that impacts our learning environment.

Cell phones may only be used during class time with express permission from the classroom teacher. Cell phones should remain on silent (not ring or vibrate). Students who receive permission from a teacher to make an emergency phone call should step outside of the classroom and quickly make the call. Again, it is up to the teacher to grant permission for this matter.

Ipod use is only allowed with express permission from the teacher. Earbuds/phones must both be removed when the teacher or other students are speaking. Further, noise levels from Ipods must be such that other students are not bothered by the volume.

Unacceptable Use

  • using electronic devices contrary to teacher/classroom policy
  • using an electronic device inappropriately towards another community member
  • using an electronic device on the school grounds to take photographs or video without teacher or administrative permission
  • using any piece of school-owned technology to harm another community member

Progressive Discipline for Inappropriate Use

  • On the first classroom offence the teacher may send the phone to the office with a note attached. The teacher will phone the parent to notify the parent of the situation and the student can pick the phone up from administration at the end of the day
  • On a second offence the student may be sent to the office immediately. The cell phone will be kept by administration until the next morning. Administration will contact the parent to inform them of the second offence.
  • On a third offence the student may be sent to the office again with the phone being confiscated until a parent meeting occurs. At the parent meeting administration will issue a letter to the student preventing them for being in possession of an electronic device at school for a certain amount of time.
  • Upon an office referral for a fourth offence, the student will face additional discipline including possible suspension and the student may lose the privilege of electronic device use for the remainder of the year.

Any incident deemed serious enough may result in immediate loss of electronic device privilege and possible other consequences.

Any student who is in the office dealing with an administrator is required to surrender his/her cellphone for the duration of the time spent in the office.

As the school does not mandate students bring electronic devices to school, students do so at their own risk. The school is not responsible for any damage or loss to electronic devices.