Administration implements updated cell phone policy


Kriste An/Chronicle

Students gather on The Quad during lunch on the first day of school while scrolling through their cell phones.

Lucas Cohen D'Arbeloff and Kriste An

Upper school students will be required to place their cell phones in caddies during classes, Head of Upper School Beth Slattery announced in an email Aug. 23.

Slattery said the administration implemented the new cell phone policy to limit distractions in the classroom as the school returns to in-person learning.

“The policy is designed to maximize connection between students, teachers and classmates,” Slattery said.

Luke Madden ’24 said he thinks the rule will help students remain attentive in classes by reducing digital interruptions.

“I think the new policy was a good decision considering that cell phones can be a huge distraction,” Madden said. “I remember there was a time when my phone went off during class [even though] my phone was on silent and the distraction was minimized. The new policy would completely eliminate any sources of distractions for students. Overall, the policy would be a clear benefit to the classroom environment.”

Upper School Dean Jamie Chan said she believes the new guidelines are a necessary change to eliminate disturbances and promote academic honesty.

“The policy would limit distractions for students and teachers alike,” Chan said. “Students would be less likely to get distracted during classes, tests or even assessments. The lack of temptation would hopefully cut down on cheating as well. The policy is an effort to encourage interaction between students and teachers. As with any change, it will take time, but we think students will get accustomed soon.”

Kiki Cooper ’23 said while she feels that the policy underestimates students’ maturity, she believes it will enable more connection on campus.

“I feel as though it is a bit strict and over-the-top considering we are high school students [who] can handle responsibility,” Cooper said. “However, I understand that it has been enforced to help everyone connect, and so for that reason, I don’t mind it as much.”