As you know, COG-RA, Portable Communication Devices, lets secondary school (Grades 6-12) students have cell phones, iPods, etc. while they are on MCPS property and when they attend MCPS-sponsored activities but not until the end of the official school day.
On June 9, 2009, the Board of Education asked MCPS to do a pilot test in several schools to explore the possible use of cell phones during lunches. It was questioned whether allowing students to use their cell phones during lunch periods would cause harm or disrupt class time by tempting students to use their cell phones during class. The Board decided the best way to find out was to do a field test allowing students at two or three high schools with different lunch schedules to use cell phones during their lunch times.
MCPS Staff will collect data on students' usage of the devices during the lunches as well as attempted usage during instructional time. Comments will also be collected from students, staff, and administrators.
The field test will be done at the start of the second semester (January 26, 2010) and will continue until May 1. A recommendation will be made by June 2010 and the Board of Education will vote on it sometime after that. The outcome of these schools will determine whether or not this test should be expanded to all high schools. If it is successful, the use of cell phones during lunch would be expanded to all high schools.
The Test High Schools:
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School
Poolesville High School
Quince Orchard High School
Sherwood High School
Walter Johnson High School
Watkins Mill High School
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