West Fargo Schools implementing cellphone-free classroom rule

Boy using mobile phone while leaning on wall in school corridor.
Boy using mobile phone while leaning on wall in school corridor.(Storyblocks/Wavebreak Media)
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 12:04 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The West Fargo Public School District is implementing a new rule for the 2022-2023 school year to remove distraction and promote face-to-face connection. The district says cellphones cannot be used in middle and high school classrooms.

The district says cellphones should be out-of-use and out-of-sight, off or in silent mode, from the first bell to the last bell of all classes. This rule also applies to study hall and in flexed learning spaces.

“Of course there are going to be some learners that we will work with, however, I think that if we set the expectation high for our learners they will meet it and so the learners who are struggling with that, we will work with them, we will work with their families but the ultimate goal is to learn,” said Vincent Williams, assistant superintendent for West Fargo Public School District.

“Secondary school staff have overwhelmingly agreed that a consistent school-wide policy to bar cellphone use during class will help students stay more present and engaged in learning,” the district said in a statement.

School administration says intent is to support students in their academic success, remove a major distraction and promote face-to-face collaboration and connection.

“Teachers have repeatedly observed that a cellphone on a desk, even when in use as a research tool, still provides too much temptation. When it dings or buzzes, the minds of even the best students wander away.”

Students can use cell phones during non-instructional times, including passing time, lunch, and before and after school.

The district is asking parents and guardians to help in the enforcement of this policy. If you need to get in touch with a student during school hours, you are asked to call the school’s main office.

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