Limited cellphone usage is now permitted at Dorchester District 2 high schools.
During DD2's board meeting Monday members passed the second and final reading of the new policy that allows high school students to use their cellphones at specific times during the day.
The policy grants students use of their phones before 7:25 a.m., during class exchanges, during assigned lunch periods and after 2:55 p.m., unless in an after-school class or detention. Board members voted in favor with one member absent.
The vote came after Chairwoman Gail Hughes asked the three high school principals about their experience implementing a trial policy.
Ashley Ridge High School Principal Karen Radcliff said preventing cheating it is all about classroom management and awareness.
"In any kind of testing, quizzing, project-type situation it's about classroom awareness" she said. "It's about moving around and letting kids know exactly what you're doing. It's any kind of prevention of cheating - it's just being aware of the surroundings in that classroom at all times."
Hughes also asked about the part of the policy that allows students to use their cellphones in-between classes, and whether that causes students to be late to class.
Fort Dorchester High School Principal Bert Postell said he has not seen any increase in tardiness.
"Mainly where you see them use them is in the cafeteria, when they're sitting in there for lunch and they have some time to kill," he said. "You don't see cellphones in the hall, hardly at all."
Superintendent Joe Pye said the district recently met with middle-school principals to see how they felt about extending the policy to their schools. Furnari said the educators wanted to look into it.
"They want to examine some more things and see how it would best be suited at the middle level," she said.
Hughes said she feels the new policy is something that could definitely benefit the district.
"As long as we have good management tools in place I think this is a win-win," she said.
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