November 2018 letter

Over a year ago, the Governing Board initiated the PVSchools Student Voice Council. Each of our six high schools send four representatives (one from each grade level) to a quarterly meeting to discuss issues of common concern. At our October meeting, the topic was cell phone usage and its effects on learning.

It was an enlightening discussion for Board members to have an opportunity to listen to student perceptions on both the benefits and the distractions of this technology. Some students take notes, write papers, and do research on their phones, while others play video games or chat on Instagram. Some teachers encourage cell phone use, while others insist phones be put away during class time.

Realizing that technology is our new “reality”, student representatives unanimously agreed that it is the student’s responsibility to hold him/herself accountable. As we collectively reviewed our board policy and compared it to practice, we found the Board is challenged with creating policy that supports the use of technology, while honoring individual student responsibility and accountability.

We adults know high-speed information is growing in sophistication each hour. Yet, we have a responsibility to educate students during their formative years. We will continue to ask questions and create policy that reflects what is best for our students.

On behalf of the Board,

Nancy Case