LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WFRV) – A new pilot initiative has been implemented at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School students are not allowed to access their smart devices during the school day.

“Away for the Day” is a program based on research showing students perform better in the classroom without the distraction of their phones.

Local 5’s Samantha Petters spoke with the school Principal about the policy and what it means for the students. He said the hope is that students will be less distracted by their phones and focus more on learning.

“This started for us the first day of school which was September first and we have had it in place each day since,” said Todd Chandler, Luxemburg-Casco Middle School Principal. “Our hope and our goal is that we develop that habit over the course of the first month or two of school.”

A survey on student technology use was sent out earlier this year to staff members as well as parents and guardians of rising seventh- and eighth-grade students. Principal Chandler said the staff was either 100% in favor or strongly in favor and parents were about 78% in favor or strongly in favor.

While the initiative has support behind it, there are consequences for students who are caught with their phones when they aren’t supposed to have them.

“The change from last year to this year is that essentially they can’t have it on their person, whereas last year they could and they’re not bringing it with them to the cafeteria during lunch,” said Principal Chandler. “That personal technology would be their cell phones, their smartwatches any of those things. Basically, the technology that we didn’t provide to them.”

Below are the consequences if students are in violation of the regulations:

  • 1st and 2nd violation: A staff member takes the personal technology device and brings it to the school office; the student can pick it up at the end of the day.
  • 3rd violation: The personal technology device is also brought to the school office. However, it must be picked up by a parent or guardian.
  • 4th violation: The student is required to check in his or her device at the office every morning for three weeks, picking it up at the end of the day.
  • 5th violation: A meeting is scheduled between Principal Chandler and the student and parent/guardian to discuss further consequences and phone use restrictions.

The new policy initiative will be evaluated throughout the current school year. Results from test scores and disciplinary behavior will determine if it will continue or if it was successful in taking away those distractions from their learning.