At Mahurangi College, one of our six areas of strategic focus is the health and well-being of our students. In light of this, in 2018 we introduced a new policy around the use of cell phones at our school.
Since we became a BYOD school in 2014, we have allowed student use of smartphones as a learning device in certain situations in the classroom. However, in recent times we have become increasingly concerned about cell phone use interrupting the learning and health and well-being of some of our students. After spending time looking at the research around cell phone use by young people, and discussing the issue at length, we have decided to completely remove cell phones as a learning device within the classroom at school.
The aim is to support our students around sensible device use and to educate them on how to use other suitable devices for learning, such as tablets and laptops. As parents, you can support us by not contacting your children during learning times. If you need to contact your child urgently you can do this through the school office. Students can respond to messages at break times.
If you have concerns about your child’s use at home of devices for social media, gaming or other purposes, there are some very helpful resources found on the Netsafe parenting page that can support you. https://www.netsafe.org.nz/online-safety-for-parents/
This article can support parents when facing gaming addictions. https://www.addictions.com/video-games/
At Mahurangi College cell phones must not be used during any class time, including whānau/PCT times. During lessons, phones must be turned off and in the school bag. No exceptions.
A cell phone can be confiscated if the student does not follow the above rule, in which case the phone will be sent to student services. The student must then discuss the return of the phone with the Deputy Principal. Once approved by the DP, the student can pick it up at the end of that day.
If the phone is confiscated a second time, parents will need to come in to student services to collect the phone.
If this happens a third time, which we do not expect, then someone from management will contact the parents about what will happen next.