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Bethlehem Byte

Voorheesville MS drafts pilot policy for electronic devices

Voorheesville Middle School students’ usage of electronic devices is being tightly controlled under a new pilot policy developed by school administrators.

Jim Franchini, principal of Voorheesville Middle School, sent an email through the district’s School News Notifier system Friday, April 12, morning detailing the new policy.

“Recently, the staff and administration have had concerns about the student use of electronic devices at VMS,” Franchini said in the email. “Consequently, in order to review our policy and practices, we had in-depth discussions at faculty meetings on this topic. In addition, I held a voluntary meeting for staff and students who wanted to have a dialogue about the use of electronic devices on school grounds.”

The pilot policy allows electronic devices in the cafeteria, commons and on the school bus, but restricts devices from hallways and classrooms from 7:35 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. Students may use devices if their teacher gives permission for classroom use.

There are several uses of such devices that prohibited, regardless of the location, which include “recording videos, taking pictures, using the devices in an attempt to cheat, or any form of bullying/harassing.”

If a staff member notices unapproved electronic device usage the device will be confiscated and sent to the office. Students refusing to hand over a device will have a behavioral referral written for insubordination.

The first offense results in the device being returned to the student at the end of the school day. A second offense results in the student’s parent or guardian being required to pick up the device at the school. The third offense results in a behavior referral and again requiring the parents to pick up the device.

“It is my hope that this pilot policy will lead to an improved learning environment for our students,” Franchini said.

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