Digital Device Policy
John Ware School is implementing a revised digital device policy for the 2018-19 school year. We will borrow the Screenagers initiative name and call this our “Away for the Day” policy. We will be amalgamating the Cell Phone and Listening Agreement policies into one Norm described below. We encourage all parents to read this policy and support us in its implementation.
Parental Support is Key
The policy impacts parents who have developed habits of communicating with their child through 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 or read until the end of the school day (or at lunch time for 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 and tablets brought to school for educational purposes. These learning tools are covered by our digital citizenship policy.
Away for the Day
- Digital devices, including ear buds or headphones, are not to be used or visible at any time during the school day.
- All digital devices must be placed in the student locker upon entering the building.
- At the end of the school day, students are free to use their devices after they exit the school.
- At lunch, 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 locker upon entering the building.
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 or via email from a school device with teacher permission.
- At the end of the school day, 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 (see below).
- Only listening devices without Wi-Fi connectivity or gaming capacity are acceptable for playing music (no cell phones for this purpose).
- Music playing is appropriate during individual work time as negotiated with the teacher within the classroom, not the hallways, common spaces or washrooms.
Theft and Responsibility
- The school does not take responsibility for the theft of any digital devices brought to the school.
- 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.
- Teachers will not require students to have a personal device for class.
- 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
- 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).
- 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 and/or administration will call a parent before releasing the device to the student at the end of the school day.
- 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.
- Any further offence will result in increasing disciplinary action due to defiance with regards to CBE and school policies, rules and regulations
Digital Citizenship Plan
Use of School Technology and Personal Laptops / Tablets
Students are provided access to computers, other technology and the internet to assist them in their learning. Students may bring their own computers / iPads / tablets to school and may use these devices in the classroom.
Students who bring their own devices to school will not have access to school servers or printers through the network. As such they will need to utilize Google Drive to transfer files to the school network. School classes may utilize software applications that the student does not have on their device. No software will be provided to students.
The following activities are prohibited and will be addressed on an individual basis as needed:
- Use of someone else’s CBE account
- Sharing of usernames and passwords for other people to use
- Sending, posting, displaying or using obscene language/messages or pictures or information about oneself or others
- Harassing, insulting or attacking another person or their reputation
- Viewing websites through a proxy server
- Plagiarism of online content
- Tampering with any computer accessories, hardware or software
- Use of technology or accessing sites not approved by staff
- Trespassing in other’s folders, work areas or files
- Using another student’s device without permission
The following sites are prohibited from use:
- Vulgar or lewd depictions of the human body
- Sites that encourage the use of illicit or illegal substances
- Social networking sites (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc.)
- Violent acts
- Online gambling
- Any adult content
- Sites that advocate hatred or violence against an identifiable group
- Sites promoting criminal activity
- Non-educational games
Our expectation is that students become educated and responsible Digital Citizens. Students who breach any of the above points will be dealt with on an individual basis and may result in:
- Restriction or loss of technology privileges
- Restriction of use or confiscation of personal device
- School based disciplinary consequences: and/or
- Police intervention and/or legal action
It is important that parents/guardians and students remember the following:
- The school is not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of student electronic devices
- The school is not able to provide technical support for student devices.
- Devices can only be utilized when students are under the direct supervision of a teacher in an approved area of the school.
- Devices can only be utilized for educational purposes.
- Misuse will be determined by the staff and administration.
We view digital citizenship as a shared responsibility between students, parents and the school. We appreciate families supporting our work by discussing with their children their role as digital citizens.