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New cell phone rules at GHS help put students on ‘even playing field’

Cell phone use has been limited at GHS with students being asked to place their devices in a pouch at the beginning of each class period.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
Cell phone use has been limited at GHS with students being asked to place their devices in a pouch at the beginning of each class period.

— A sign of the times faces students as they walk into Grangeville High School classrooms this year. An elementary-school type of pouch with 30-ish clear pockets is in each class.

“They walk in and put their cell phones in,” said GHS Principal Steve Higgins.

Last year during state testing, phones were taken at the door as to not be a distraction while students were testing.

“We wanted them to know it was an important time, a serious time, where the school is assessed on how they perform,” Higgins explained. “We just didn’t want the cell phones to be a distraction.”

Last year, history teacher Pat Sullivan used a box for phones.

“He had kids put them in it at the beginning of class, and we got feedback from him and substitutes in his classroom that it worked very well, so we opted for that next step this year,” Higgins stated.

Students are asked to place their phones in the pouch at the beginning of each class and can pick them up at the end of the hour.

“There isn’t any need to have the phones in class and it puts everyone on an even playing field,” Higgins emphasized. “No one is looking through their phones or invading their privacy – the phones are just there until the of the class period.”

Higgins said the plan has cut down on students’ need to use the bathroom during class time. Kids could often be seen going to and from the bathroom texting or checking their phones.

If students choose not to place their phones in the pouches, they must be out of site and not used at all. Having a phone out will result in it being taken to the office where it may stay for a day or a week, depending on the situation.

“We really don’t have a problem – we have great students who do what we ask,” Higgins said. “We’re not singling anyone out, it’s just a good way to keep the phone distraction down and keep the phones in a safe place.”

Although some schools have banned cell phone use due to problems with cheating, Higgins said he has not seen that issue at GHS.

“There are always a few kids who try cheating but it’s no different that writing the answers on your shoe or on a little piece of paper – cell phone pictures and texts are just a different way to do it,” he said.

Open house at GHS on tap for tonight

GRANGEVILLE – Grangeville High School will host an open house for parents tonight, Sept. 16, 6 p.m.

All parents will meet in the cafeteria where they will receive a schedule for their student or students. They will then attend each classroom for a few minutes where they will have a chance to meet teachers, hear about the class and ask questions.

“This night is meant for the parents and not the students, a time where parents can meet, ask questions and just get a general idea of what their child does during the day,” explained principal Steve Higgins.


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