PORTAGE | Beginning the next school year, Portage Township Schools students will be able to keep their electronic communication devices turned on during the day — as long as they are being used for educational purposes.
Last week, the Portage Township School Board took the first step of many to change policy and student handbooks by approving changes to the elementary student handbook to reflect changes in technology use.
Currently, students are allowed to possess a cell phone or other ECD, but are required to keep them turned off during the day.
New language in the elementary handbook will allow students to keep the devices turned on while on school property, at after school activities or at school-related functions when they are being used for educational purposes.
Assistant Superintendent Tom Taylor, who is on on the district's technology design team, said the team is looking at future uses of technology by students and working to align student handbooks and district policies to those uses.
"It is a quantum leap from turning off EDCs to keeping them on for educational purposes," said Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia.
Frataccia said the change was first adopted for the elementary handbook because it is scheduled to go to printing soon. Similar changes will be made in the middle and high school handbooks and will likely be brought before the board in June for approval.