Cell Phone Use and Expectations


Cell phones are everywhere.  They can be handy tools, but also insidious distractions.  This year the School District of Superior will be working to help students better manage their electronic devices to better achieve our vision of All Means All; Every Student, Every Day.  The Middle School and High School will be using new practices, detailed below, so that students know what to expect and teachers have a consistent system to help students manage expectations.


Why the change?

Last spring a group of staff from the middle and high school got together to focus on this issue.  The group consisted of teachers, counselors, administrators and tech coaches.  We looked at our internal data, collected information from students, staff and parents, and looked at policies from a half dozen other school districts. 
cell phone

We learned some important things.  95% of all middle and high school students have phones they bring to school.  Some teachers let students use phones as part of their instruction, and others do not.  But nearly all teachers agree phones distract students in class.  Most students want to be able to carry their phones, but agree they can be distracting in classes.  Parents want to be able to contact their kids during the school day, but also recognize students should focus at school.  


Keeping these things in mind,  the task force came to consensus on the changes above for the 2019-2020 school year.  As these new rules are used the task force will meet again to gauge the impact of the changes, and suggest any adjustments that need to be made.

Check out these  short videos for more information:


What will this change look like in classroom? spartan cell phone stoplight poster

Each class will have a sign to indicate three possibilities for student phones.  The three options are Red, Yellow or Green Light.


The default in every class will be a Red Light.  It indicates students phones are away for the entire time the Red Light is up.  Phones should not be visible and students shouldn’t be touching them. 

If the teacher chooses to they can move the indicator to the Yellow Light and write on the poster with a whiteboard marker what students can use their phones for.  This might include participating in a student response site like "Kahoot" or perhaps as a "calculator".  This allows teachers to still use phones in instruction, while making it clear what they should be used for.  


The Green Light ought to be used only rarely.  This will signal to students it is ok to have your phone out doing something school appropriate and not disruptive.  With our focus on learning for all students, classrooms should almost never be on a green Light. 


Students not following the posted directions will be redirected to correct their behavior.  Any students with continued problems will receive a referral.  


How will this look in other areas of the school?

Halls and the lunchroom will be Green Light areas during lunch and passing time.  During class periods they will be Red Light areas as well.  


Bathrooms and locker rooms are always Red Light areas.