JCPS principals apply for waiver, want smart phones in schools - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JCPS principals apply for waiver, want smart phones in schools

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Carol Haddad Carol Haddad

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Principals from at least seven Jefferson County Public Schools would like to see smart phones allowed at their respective high schools.

Principals from Ballard, DuPont Manual, Fairdale, Iroquois Southern, Waggener, and Valley high schools will meet with members of the JCPS school board Monday to discuss being exempted from the district's ban on cell phones in schools.

"We are meeting with principals to discuss the use of cell phones for instructional use," began JCPS board vice-chair Carol Haddad. "It's very new, and I think we need to ask a lot of questions."

Haddad said JCPS schools currently have a cell phone ban place that mandates "no cell phone use upon entering {a} building or during {the} school day ending at 2:20 p.m." Principals interested in having their schools exempt from the policy are able to apply for a waiver. However, before those waivers are approved or denied, Haddad said each principal must present his or her rationale for not only allowing the use of smart phones but also regulating it.

"What are they using it for? Are they using it for school activities or are they using it for other things?" probed Haddad. "It's really going to be hard to monitor so I want to hear how they're going to be able to monitor this, especially in the big high schools."

Haddad said she will be listening closely to both sides of the argument at a work session meeting scheduled for school board members and the applying principals. The meeting is open to the public and set to begin at 4 p.m. at the VanHoose Education Center.

In the work session agenda provided to WAVE 3 News, an overview of the waivers' listed requests included that students be allowed to use cell phones as a learning tool inside the classroom, at lunch, and at passing for instructional, organizational, and research purposes.

"In the lunchroom they could use it for instructional use?" pondered Haddad. "That sounds interesting because most kids at lunch aren't doing anything instructional, but I mean it's going to be a good conversation and I'm glad we're going to have it."

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