MCPS Starts Year With New Cell Phone Policy



MCPS staff members had concerns about the amount that students were using their mobile devices in class.

RHS students returned to school this year with a new policy regarding the use of Personal Mobile Devices (PMDs) that introduces additional restrictions than previous school years. A PMD is defined as any non-MCPS issued devices, such as cellphones, headphones, smart watches, or e-readers. 

“There was a change in the cell phone policy districtwide because of the concern of staff members, with students not being engaged in classes during class time,” Principal Rhoshanda Pyles said.

PMD use is now only allowed before and after school, during lunch, during the transitional time between classes, and during instruction, at the discretion of the teacher.

I feel that the new cell phone policy at RHS is incredibly strict,” freshman Corey Majewski said. “The policy is a lot different because it is more heavily enforced and only allowed during nonclass time.”

While students say that the policy is strict, administrators would rather focus on the potential positive outcomes.  

“We don’t want to focus on consequences, we want to encourage our students to be digitally responsible,” Pyles said. “So if a student has their cell phone out, you know, we’re gonna ask students to put their cell phones away. It’s not going to be a battle back and forth.”

There may be consequences for phone use, such as confiscation, phone calls home, or classroom detentions. The goal of the policy is to create a more successful learning environment.

“I hope to see students learning, I hope to see them engaged, I hope to see them talking amongst their peers, having conversations,” Pyles said. “I hope to see our grade data improve and I think, you know, the bigger picture is that teaching you all to be digitally responsible, carries over to college, careers, as well as the military.”