MASSENA — Massena Central students will no longer have access to their cellphones during the school day under a policy change being reviewed by the district’s Board of Education.
“Changes here include requiring the junior high and high school to clearly spell out acceptable use of personal technology in student handbooks and the code of conduct. Basically, teachers and administrators at the junior high and high school are no longer supportive of allowing students to use personal technology like cellphones and that type of thing during the school day, so that will be spelled out in the student code of conduct and student handbook,” Policy Committee Chairman Paul Haggett said.
Minutes of a recent Policy Committee meeting indicated that there were now nearly enough Chrome Books for each student, which eliminated the need for students to use their personal cell phones for school-related tasks.
“The communications committee and a polling of the faculty indicates strong support to not allow personal technology use during the school day. The student handbook will be changed to reflect that students must leave cell phones in their lockers,” according to the meeting minutes.
Mr. Haggett said the committee also reviewed and amended a policy regarding suspension of students.
“There was really no mechanism for an appeal to the board of education in the policy in case of a superintendent hearing,” he said.
He said Superintendent Patrick Brady had Susan Johns, the school’s attorney, “develop a regulation that spells out the appeals process, including that the appeal can only consider the written record from the superintendent’s hearing, and a clause that excludes the superintendent from an appeal that would be made to the board,” Mr. Haggett said.
Although the superintendent cannot be in the room when the board is considering an appeal, the presence of legal counsel is recommended.
The new regulation allows for decisions made by both principal and superintendent to be appealed to the board of education. After executive session, the board would pass a general resolution to either uphold or modify the principal or superintendent decision.
Any decision made by the board can be further appealed to the commissioner of education.
Board of education members will be asked to approve both policies during their next meeting on Thursday.