LAC LA BICHE - Teachers first, texts later, say officials at a Lac La Biche school, reminding parents about their existing cell phone policy.
A notice was sent to parents of Aurora Middle School students in Lac La Biche on Wednesday morning, reminding them about the existing rules when it comes to students and cell-phone use in the school.
Carolina Franke, the principal at the Grade 4-8 school, is asking parents and guardians to help keep their children focused on school work during school hours.
"As cell phones can be a huge learning distraction, we have an established cell phone policy to minimize the disruption to learning and encourage students to use cell phones responsibly," noted Franke. "We ask that parents, guardians, or family members do not text or call their child on their cell phone during instructional times, but rather during break times."
Break times at Aurora are between 10:20 am and 10:35am, the lunch break is from 12:05 to 12:50 and the afternoon break is from 2:25pm to 2:40pm.
"If you need to talk to your child during instructional time please call the front desk and we will call your child down or pass on a message," she said.
School officials recognize that cell phones do have a place in daily life, and that is why responsible use of the devices is part of the learning environment.
"Part of middle school is learning to use cell phones responsibly and preparing students for high school and beyond," Franke said.
The notice to parents on Wednesday is to remind students and their families about those responsibilities.
The school's cell phone policy does carry penalties. The first offence will see the teacher taking the device and discussing appropriate use and consequences after the class before returning the device. A second offence will see the same consequence — but the student's guardian will be notified. A third offence will see the device confiscated and taken to the office and returned to the student at the end of the school day. Administration will also decide if further steps are warranted.
While in the classroom, Franke said there is a basic rule to follow when it comes to cell phones and students ...
"Cell phones should not be seen or heard unless permission is granted from the teacher," she noted.
Any student attending the school with access to a cell phone or cellular device falls under the policy.