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Frankfort school to keep cell phones out of classrooms

Cell phones in class rooms causing concern
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 12, 2024

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Students at Second Street School are out for the summer, but when they return this fall, they'll be asked to leave a few things behind, including their cell phones.

Superintendent Sheri Satterly says, "The biggest issue we see at Second Street right now is just student engagement and if they're constantly getting a ding from a text message or a Snapchat or a phone call, it's hard to keep them engaged for what little time we have them in our classrooms."

Second Street is K-8, and they're seeing more middle schoolers distracted by electronics. This policy began in 2020 and has been updated to include all electronic collections at the beginning of the day.

Satterly says, "So we are one-to-one as far as Google Chromebooks are concerned so there's no need for them to bring their own computers, laptops, iPads, things like that to school."

The idea is to remove phones from students' hands and get them focused on what's happening in the classroom. They're looking to limit student distraction and increase engagement. By the end of the year, they want to see a difference in the way these students interact with each other.

"Social skills are very important in middle school outside of just text messaging, sending Snapchats, posting on 'Insta.' Just important for them to have that facetime. They're going to have to do that later in life,” says Satterly.

She believes this policy will also address problems with cyberbullying. Many parents asked how this will affect students' safety, and as a former principal, Satterly shares that it makes them safer.

Satterly says, "I had a parent ask me, 'You know what if I need to get in touch with my son if there's an emergency, if the building is on lockdown?' and I just asked her, 'do you want your son's phone to ring behind that closed door if we're on lockdown?' and I don't think any parent would answer that with 'yes.'"

She says they'll always notify parents as soon as possible in an emergency. Down the road, she hopes this policy will improve engagement and academics.

She says, "Whether it be social studies or a social-emotional screener, I hope we see growth. We see growth already, but I’m hopeful for astronomical growth when this is no longer a distraction for our students."