Conroe ISD will begin to implement a new cellphone policy for pre-K to sixth grade.

The setup

Conroe ISD started a School Cell Phone Committee in August to begin evaluating its cellphone guidelines.

During an Oct. 17 board meeting, trustees approved the committee's first round of recommendations for students in prekindergarten through sixth grade.

According to the presentation, the new guidelines include:
  • Cellphones and smartwatches can only be used before and after school.
  • Devices cannot be used to capture video, audio or images at school or on the bus.
  • All cellphones and smartwatches must be kept on silent mode and kept in backpacks, lockers or other designated storage areas.
  • Cellphones and smartwatches should not be visible during school hours, including instructional time, reward time, free time, lunch and in the hallways.
  • The use of cellphones and smartwatches will only be permitted in extenuating circumstances with permission from a staff member.
How we got here

The School Cell Phone Committee held meetings Sept. 7 and 18. Deputy Superintendent Bethany Medford said the 53 voting members consisted of parents, teachers, administration, counselors and students from all Conroe ISD feeder zones.

The committee sent out three surveys during the study. The final survey asked community members if they approved or disapproved of the draft pre-K-6 cellphone guidelines that were presented.

Of the 37 responses, 100% of respondents approved.

Medford said the implementation of the new policy will begin over the next few weeks.

“We have no concerns about enforcing [the policy] for [pre-K]-6,” she said. “For the most part, it is what we have now with a few tweaks. We don't have cellphones out during instructional time in [pre-K]-6, so [teachers] feel really confident about it.”

Next steps

The committee will meet again Oct. 23 and Nov. 6.