In-Class Phone Ban Among Planned Changes

April 1, 2017


By Will Foster ’20

Under new policies announced Friday by Walter Payton College Prep, set to go into effect next school year, phone usage in class will be banned, many students will be required to share lockers, and students that accumulate more than three tardies in a quarter will have to participate in a cleaning detail.

“With the one-to-one Chromebook computer program allowing every student access to the Internet resources they need, we believe there will be little excuse for phone usage during class next year,” Principal Tim Devine said. He did note that phone usage in the hallways will still be allowed.

Next year’s sophomore locker-sharing will come as a result of the increased size of next year’s freshman class. In some cases, there will be up to three sophomores to a locker, Devine said.

The tardy policy is being instituted as a reaction to a large number of students being frequently late to school. “By being late to school, students disadvantage both their teachers and their fellow classmates,” Devine told the Paw Print. “While we understand that arriving at school on time can be challenging for many students, we also want to make sure that students show respect for their teachers, who put in so much work for them every day.”

To that end, all students who accumulate more than three tardies in a quarter will be required to participate in a before and after-school cleaning detail on all school days for a period of one week.

Devine said that the administration considered opting for purely punitive measures such as lunch detention, but opted instead to employ a form of restorative justice, a policy increasingly used in schools and even criminal justice, in which students will make amends for the harm they have caused to the school by doing something positive.

“Rather than simply punishing students through detention or lack of privileges, we believe it is more productive that they do something to make the school a better place,” Devine said.

Cleaning duties will include lunchroom table washing, garbage removal, mopping, and disinfection of sink and toilet fixtures in the first floor restrooms. Devine said that waivers may be granted in exceptional cases.

Featured photo on main page courtesy of Apple

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