WRDSB outlines expectations surrounding student cellphone use in classrooms

As the provincial government aims to crack down on cellphone use in schools, the Waterloo Region District School Board is outlining its expectations come September.

Officials with the public school board posted a notice to its website that says they'll be taking steps to ensure students are better supported in focusing on their learning and well-being at school.

"We know that cell phones are a significant distraction for students at school, especially in the classroom," reads the notice. "They can lead to students being disengaged from their learning and isolated from their peers next to them."

Beginning in the fall, student access to social media platforms on school networks and school devices will be restricted.

Students in kindergarten to Grade 6 will be required to keep phones on silent and out of sight for the entire school day.

Similarly, students in Grades 7 to 12 will not be permitted to use their cellphones during class time without permission.

According to the public school board, there are some exceptions which include:

  • For educational purposes, if explicitly permitted by the educator.

  • For health and medical purposes.

  • To support special education needs, as documented in the student's IEP.

  • During breaks, lunch and spares.

The school board says families or caregivers needing to reach their children can do so by calling the school's main office.