MCPS Revised Policy Stresses No Phones in Class

Smart phones and other personal mobile devices not issued by Montgomery County Public Schools only can be used for official educational activities while in school, according to MCPS’s revised policy.

That means no texting, chatting, sharing photos and checking Tik Tok while in class.

The policy, which went into effect in May, allows personal devices to be used before and after school and while on the school bus. They also can be used at lunch for high school students, and with permission, by middle school students during their lunch break.

In high school, phones can be used when moving from class to class, if a student has permission.

Exceptions to this policy may be made on an individual basis.

“Updated guidance for cell phone and PMD use is important to advance our district’s priority of focusing on equitable teaching and learning,” said Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight. “We have to ensure that devices play an appropriate role in the instructional cycle, where the teacher determines what’s appropriate and not a distraction.”

The Montgomery County Council of PTAs supports this regulation. “The cell phone task force worked for years gathering feedback and studying the adverse effects phones in the class can have on academics and cyberbullying. The importance of removing cell phones and other devices that district from the teacher and learning cannot be overstated,” Lisa Cline, former chair of the Safe Technology Committee, wrote in a news release.

Students are responsible for ensuring their devices are turned off and out of sight during times of unauthorized use, according to MCPS.

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