The advancement of personal technology has created many benefits to our society; at the same time it has presented many challenges. To paraphrase authors Oliver Luckett and Michael Casey (The Social Organism), the adaptation of personal technology by society is an evolutionary process and the evolution does not necessarily mean progress.
One of the most significant challenges we face in protecting our learning environment is the invasion of personal technology into our school environment. At times it is extremely disruptive as, at times, students have used personal devices to film/record others without permission, attempt to cheat, make fun of others on social media, etc.) As noted in our Family Handbook,
Student Use of Personal Technology — Cellular Phones, iPods & Other Technology Devices.
St. Croix Prep allows students to have cell phones, iPods and other technology devices, but they are not to be visible, turned on, or in use during regular school hours. Students may use their phones/devices before/after regular school hours. We understand that on occasion a student may need to communicate transportation needs with a parent or family member. This communication should go through the Office Manager. The use of headphones is prohibited unless authorized by SCPA faculty. Students who violate the above restrictions shall be deemed to have created a disruption to the instructional environment and are subject to confiscation of their phones/devices. St. Croix Prep shall not assume responsibility for theft, loss, damage or unauthorized use of a cell phone or other technology devices. Use of camera features on cell phones and other devices is prohibited without administrative approval.
Each division within the School operates under guidelines based on the above policy. The Lower School and Middle School are very strict in its implementation of the above, not allowing the visible presence of technology devices during the day. In the Upper School, due to the prevalent and continuous use of phones by teenagers, the personal use of technology is allowed during passing time, lunch, and study halls (if allowed by the personnel supervising the study hall). At times Upper School classroom teachers will require their class to check their phones in prior to class start, then picking them up at the conclusion of the class. All of this is meant to protect the learning environment which is often disrupted by a teenager’s constant connection with friends via technology.
Over the course of the past few years we have seen an increased use of personal technology by younger students. In addition, technology development (e.g. Apple watches, gizmo gadgets, etc.) has prompted us to communicate our opinion, in last week’s Parent Update, on how new devices are viewed by the School.
We realize there may be very good reasons for a family’s investment in technology. We ask that you respect the School’s efforts to protect the learning environment and privacy of all students. If you have questions related to this, please contact the appropriate Principal and Executive Director.