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GHEC tackles student cell phone use

GRANADA — Assistant Principal Taylor Topinka updated the Granada-Huntley-East Chain School Board on Thursday on a new practice concerning students and cell phone use.

“After we came back from Christmas break, one modification that Mr. Storbeck and I put in place here at the middle school and high school is a calculator holder,” he said, acknowledging Superintendent/Principal Doug Storbeck’s involvement. “It’s a hanging deal that has pockets in it with numbers on them, and we put one in every single classroom.

“Its designated purpose is to be a home base for cell phones. They’re right by the door in most of our rooms, so the student has a spot to put their phones during the class period.”

When asked about the effectiveness of the practice, Topinka said it has gone surprisingly well.

“We haven’t run into a ton of pushback from the kids on it, and I would have expected more pushback,” he said.

Topinka said the practice is not an official change in policy but more of an update.

“Our policy before was that your cell phone should be put away during class and basically not seen in your work space.” he said. “Hopefully this gives our students another tool to better fulfill the policy that we already have in place. I think kids will gravitate toward making this a part of their everyday routine.”

Storbeck also weighed in, saying: “We didn’t want to eliminate the possibility of using cell phones for educational purposes, so that’s why we didn’t want to say you can’t bring them into the classroom at all. Now we’re just giving them an area to put them. Also, some of our teachers, if it comes down to a Friday and you’ve gotten all your work in and doing everything you’re supposed to, they can use it as a reward opportunity for those students.”

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