Technology Acceptable Use Policy

  • As a collective staff, we have had ongoing conversations about students' use of personal technology within our school community for many years. Teachers have historically varied widely in their tolerance, approach, and judgment of when to enforce our current policy in order to maintain strong student relationships, which we value and are deeply committed to. However, over the past two years, we have observed, reviewed, and discussed recent research, which has helped us collectively arrive at a consensus that cell phones are creating more problems than they solve and we, as a Polaris K-12 staff, recognize that our current technology policy does not adequately address this, nor does it support, guide, and empower our students to have positive prosocial behaviors within our educational community.


    We have found that many students are substituting their phones for learning basic coping strategies and social skills they will, undoubtedly, need in life. Others are having to combat distractions made by others and therefore losing valuable focus time while in the classroom setting. There has also been a decrease in feelings of positive school climate and connectedness, noticeable decreases in students’ mental health, and less engagement and overall participation in classroom activities as students’ use of personal technology here at school has increased. As we have delved into recent research, we have learned that cell phone use is strongly correlated with rates of student depression and suicide. Additionally, psychology research is becoming ever clearer that the use of cell phones and social media applications is detrimental to student well-being.  


    In short, we now know better. 


    We now know that these incredible and useful tools are hazardous to the well-being and academic performance of the students in our care and that our policies to support student outcomes should incorporate this information so that we may do better to support the academic, social, and emotional lives of the students we see every day.  


    After soliciting input on a drafted and proposed policy that included the potential utilization of Yondr to help manage students' use of cell-phones, we have reviewed the feedback received from students and parents, made what we feel were appropriate and necessary changes, and have formally voted to implement an amended version of this policy at the onset of next school year. This new Technology Acceptable Use Policy removes the usage of Yondr, the locking-pouch technology, but upholds our mission of helping to better support and guide our students in the appropriate uses of technology here within our educational institution.


    Our truest intent is to serve our students in a way that will help them in becoming responsible and respectful citizens. To achieve this, we will be moving forward with a technology limited-experience where cell phones and other personal technology will be expected to be stored out of sight from the onset of the school day and through its duration. Specific details regarding the policy can be found in the policy document below.

    We see ourselves as partners with you, our Polaris families, in growing healthy, happy, resilient kids and young adults.  Phones are experience-blockers, and we have all, undoubtedly, noticed the negative effects of social media and unregulated technology use on our youth. Our intention to limit access to personal technology at Polaris K-12 School is the kind of leadership we feel our students need and deserve to reclaim their attention from the devices that are designed to take it away from them. 


    Additional links to research surrounding this topic:

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