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School board welcomes Ministry of Education’s new cell phone policy

The Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) says the recent ruling by Ontario’s Ministry of Education outlining how cell phones can be used in class aligns with its strategic plan.

In a statement to the newsroom, Carolynne Bull, manager of communications services for TLDSB, welcomes the school board’s strategy that was implemented in 2022 and will guide its decisions until 2027.

The provincial ruling mandates that students in kindergarten to grade six have to keep their phones on silent and out of sight for the entire school day while phones will not be allowed during class time for youth in grades seven to 12. However, if a student gets their teacher’s permission, they can keep their phone on them.

The changes from the province will also see social media websites removed from all school networks and devices. Report cards will also include a new section detailing students’ “distraction levels in class.”

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The provincial government will provide mandatory training for teachers on the new policies.

Also, the use of vaping products is being cracked down on with students being forced to give up the products if caught with them on school grounds and the province investing $30 million through its 2024 budget to install vape detectors and other “security upgrades” in schools.

“All members of the school community are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the TLDSB code of conduct, which already includes usage of cellphones and vaping,” says Bull. “TLDSB will be updating the code of conduct to reflect new changes, which will be in place starting Sept. 2024.”

Bull says it will be in the hands of students and parents/guardians at the start of the 2024/25 school year.

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