Cell Phone

Arbour Lake Digital Device Policy:

The use of digital devices continues to be an ongoing concern and staff have noted the distracting influence, specifically, of cell phone use throughout the school.  A 2017-2018 ALS student survey asked the following question of students, “I take care of myself by making sure I don’t have too much screen time (eg. Too much TV, computer, tablet, or cell phone).” The results in the disagree and strongly disagree increase from 36.6% in the grade 5/6 level up to 68.8% in grade 9.  Informal parent feedback indicates that many parents share concerns about digital devices and the content students may be accessing on their phones.  At the administration level, each year we have to deal with inappropriate use of social media and this appears to be on the rise.

There is much research to suggest that digital devices in the school environment are detrimental to students.  Studies have stated that more time on electronic communication results in lower psychological well-being in adolescents.  Some studies link a decline in human relationships due to screen time with anxiety and depression.  Other studies have shown that the mere presence of the phone (on a desk or in a pocket) can lower working memory capacity.  Recent surveys by the Screenagers “Away for the Day” initiative found that 82% of parents do not want their child to use their phone during the school day.  Parents are encouraged to visit the following website for further information on the research on phone use at school: https://awayfortheday.squaresp...

In the fall of 2019-2020 Arbour Lake implemented a new digital device policy.  We borrowed the Screenagers initiative name and call this our “Away for the Day” policy.   We encourage all parents to read this policy and we ask that parents support us in its implementation.  The policy will have an impact on those parents who have expected their child to answer texts and or phone calls during the school day.  All parents will need to understand that messages left on their child’s phone will not be heard until the end of the school day (or at lunch time for grade 7-9 students who choose to leave the school grounds).  Urgent messages will need to be called in to the school office where school personnel will forward these to our students.  We encourage all parents to ensure that after-school plans and early-dismissal pick-ups are well communicated to your child before the school day.

Digital Device Policy – “Away for the Day”

Digital Device Definition:  

A “digital device” is any handheld device (smartphone, iPod, iWatch, gaming device, etc.) that has internet access, texting, music or gaming capabilities.  

It does not include personal laptops, ipads and tablets brought to school for educational purposes. These learning tools are covered by our digital citizenship policy.

Away for the Day:

Digital devices are not to be used or visible at any time during the school day.  

All digital devices must be placed in the student locker immediately upon entering the building.  

At the end of the school day (2:30 M-TR, 12:00 F) students are free to use their devices within the school. 

Grade 7-9 students who choose to leave the school grounds may use their devices while off of school property.  Devices must be put away once on school property and immediately placed in the student's locker.

Messages to and from Students:

Urgent messages from parents should be called in to the main office.  School office personnel will forward  these to our students.  

We encourage all parents to ensure that after-school plans and early-dismissal pick-ups are well  communicated to your child before the school day.

Students who need to contact a parent during the day can do so from any phone in the school with  teacher permission.

At the end of the school day (2:30 M-TR, 12:00 F) students are free to check for messages from  their parents and to contact parents on their devices. 


Music and Headphones:

This policy applies to headphones and digital devices used for the playing of music. 

Students who have music as an accommodation specifically identified in their Individualized  Program Plan will be exempt from this rule (for the playing of music only).  These students will keep  their device on airplane mode to negate incoming texts, e-mails and notifications.


Theft and Responsibility:

The school does not take responsibility for the theft of, or damage to, any digital devices brought to the school.


Special Situations:

There may be certain learning situations where the use of digital devices is deemed appropriate by  staff.  In this case, the use of the device will be under direct teacher supervision.  

Students who may need to use the device throughout the school and therefore are not under direct  teacher supervision (e.g. for digital photography, filming) will be given a special lanyard for  identification.


Digital No Use Zones:

At absolutely no time (including after school hours) are digital devices to be used in the washroom  or change room areas.


Consequences for Inappropriate Use:


First Offence 

The digital device will be sent to the main office where it will be logged and securely held until the -end of  the school day.  The student is allowed to pick up the device at the end of the school day (not at lunch).

Second Offence

The digital device will be sent to the main office where it will be logged and securely held until the end of the school  and/or administration will call a parent before releasing the device to the student at the end of the school day.

Third Offence

The digital device will be sent to the main office where it will be logged and securely held until the end of  the school day.  A parent will be required to pick up the device from administration.

Further Offences 

Any further offence will result in increasing disciplinary action due to defiance with regards to CBE and  school policies, rules and regulations.

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