BYOD - Advantage for students - but also some disadvantages...

Being a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) campus has its advantages for our students - but there are also downsides that go along with students having more access to their phones on campus.  As we tell the students BYOD is a privilege not a right.  We are seeing amazing things happening in classrooms with the use of today's technology but are seeing some negatives occurring by some students as well.

One of the main concerns is students calling you directly from their cell phones to be picked up from school because they do not feel good.  In most cases when students are calling you for this reason, they have either: 1. not been seen by the nurse at all or 2. the nurse has evaluated them and their condition does not really warrant them going home.  Any time a student is running a fever, having an asthma attack, or has other symptoms that the nurse feels is an appropriate time for students to go home, she will call a parent/guardian to have them picked up and keep them in the clinic until they are.  When students have been evaluated by the nurse and she feels it is an appropriate time for them to go home, this is an "excused" absence and is documented accordingly in the office.  Many times, students may not feel well, but are not running a fever or do not have symptoms that would warrant them missing school and they are sent back to class. When this occurs, students are using their phones, without permission, and contacting you to pick them up.  If your child calls you from their cell phone during the school day, before deciding to pick them up, please contact the school nurse, Mrs. Anderson at 397-5709 and she can let you know if they need to be picked up or not.  If you elect to pick them up and the nurse on duty does not feel they should be leaving school - this is an "unexcused" absence.  We do ask though that you monitor your students, and if they have a fever, please do not send them to school due to the health risks to other students/staff, and there is the possibility we will be calling you during the day to pick them up if they continue to feel bad and have a fever when seen by the nurse.  Working together ensures your students are healthy and in class so they can be successful in their academic endeavors.

At times students may also call you during the day to report something that may not sound appropriate behavior wise.  Though we understand your concern, in many cases these types of incidents have not been reported to a teacher or an administrator and we are unable to answer your questions when you call or come up to find out what is going on.  If you receive such a call, we ask that you first ask your student if they have reported it to a teacher or the administration on campus.  If they have not, please direct them to do so immediately and call the vice principal's office at 397-5724 and report what they have told you.  If they state they have, please give us a little time to begin our investigation and someone will contact you, or you can call 397-5724 and report it as well and ensure the information has been passed on to the office.  An administrator will then speak to your student, and any others involved and give you a call back in regard to what they can tell you about the investigation.  Please note, school officials can only share information with you about your child and we can not under the Federal Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) share information about another student, or anything about consequences that may or may not have been issued to other students.  

The last negative about devices on campus is students using them for non-educational and inappropriate reasons, such as texting (including answer texts from mom and dad during class), video taping inappropriate behavior, and using social media (facebook, twitter, & instagram to name a few) during the school day.  When students are using their devices for non-educational reasons, they are not following the BYOD guidelines and can lose the privilege of having them on campus.  Please make sure your students know that devices on campus are only to be used for educational purposes and if they are found violating this policy, there can be serious consequences.  

When electronic devices are used for educational reasons, great things are happening, and we thank our Stingrays for doing such a great job with BYOD this year.  If all our Stingrays follow the guidelines things go smoothly and appropriate communication is in place for everyone.  When one of our Stingrays elects to not follow the guidelines, it makes it difficult on everyone, so we thank you for your support in reminding them of the appropriate uses on campus.