Carroll ISD introduces updated rules for electronic devices

Carroll ISD will be implementing stronger policies for electronic devices in schools for the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

It is part of an effort to streamline these rules, said Janet McDade, the assistant superintendent for student services, during the July 22 school board meeting. These will be included in each campus handbook and be part of the student handbook and code of conduct.

Elementary and intermediate schools

“In order to preserve the learning environment while also eliminating unnecessary distractions, we’re asking students to leave their personal devices—communication and electronic devices—at home as the uses of these devices by students is prohibited,” McDade said.

But if students do choose to bring these devices to school, they have to follow certain guidelines, she said.

These devices have to remain in students’ backpacks, cubbies or lockers during the day. They must also be turned off, not just set to silent or vibrate. Students may use them once they are dismissed and have exited the building.

Students may also use their devices for teacher-approved activities, she said. But this will probably be on a limited basis since the school district will be deploying electronic devices to students to use for learning.

If students violate these rules, their devices will be confiscated and turned to the office.
First offense: Students can pick up their devices at the end of the day.
Second offense: Staff will contact a parent or guardian. Students will still be able to pick up their confiscated device at the end of the day.
Third offense: The parent or guardian will have to be the one to pick up the confiscated device.
Fourth offense: Students will have to pay a $15 before picking up their device. Parents or guardians will be contacted.

The $15 charge is authorized by state law, McDade said.

Middle schools

Students may use their electronic devices from 8:40 a.m.-3:40 p.m. in designated areas and when they have permission to do so. They are not allowed to use these electronics in the cafeteria, in restrooms or in the hallways during passing periods, McDade said.

If students violate the rules, they will have to pay a $15 fine before picking up their belongings from the office.

“They can use [these devices] in the gym before school,” McDade said.

High schools

There are no changes to electronics policy for the high schools.

Students may have cell phones at school and use it for learning, but teachers may ask students to turn them off. If students use it at prohibited times, they may face a fine, disciplinary action and confiscation of their phones.
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.