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975 Snelling Avenue South
St. Paul
MN
55116

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Cell Phone Expectations

While cell phones and other electronics seem to be an extension of our bodies, we are not allowing cell phones to be used in school between the hours of 8:30-3:00 pm.   Here are our expectations:

  1. Personal phones and electronics are not allowed to be used at Highland Park Middle School.
  2. They are to remain at home, or locked in lockers.  If students choose to carry their phones, they must be completely off--not even on vibrate.
  3. Phones and electronics will be collected and left in the office if there is repeated use.   A parent /guardian will need to come to school to pick the phone up.

Q: Why don’t we allow cell phones in class/lunch/bathrooms/halls during the school day?

  1. We prioritize real human interaction.  We believe that learning the skills of in-person communication and collaboration are much more important.  This generation has grown up with computers and cell phones. Students are already good at using electronics -- they do not need social media practice or gaming practice at school.  One of the most important skills our students will learn at Highland Park Middle School is how to get along and work well, face-to-face, with a variety of people.
  2. Electronics are disruptive.  Cell phones ringing and buzzing disrupt both the student and the class. We want students focused on the lesson, not who’s calling or texting them.
  3. They cause drama.  Students tend to say things online that they would never say out loud.  We don’t need extra drama at school.
  4. They get stolen.  Unfortunately, as wonderful as our Highland Park Middle School students are, phones are stolen.  They are attractive items. Leaving them in a locked locker is best if they can’t stay at home.  While we try to help students problem solve, the school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  5. They are addicting.  This generation of students is struggling to learn to think and stay busy with just their own thoughts.  Managing boredom without tools or toys is an important life skill that we have little opportunity to practice when the phone is always present.  We want our students to be fully present and experience all that school has to offer.
  6. Students don’t need them.  Every student at Highland Park is given an iPad for academic use.  

We are asking you to not only review these expectations but also to help out by not texting or contacting your student during the school day. Ideally all necessary communication should occur before and after school.  In the event of an emergency, please call the main office, 651-293-8950 and we will get a message to your student as soon as possible. If a student needs to contact a parent, they can ask for a pass to use the phone in the office.