The truth behind AHS cell phone pockets

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The truth behind AHS cell phone pockets

A phone pocket in a teachers classroom at the start of the school year.

A phone pocket in a teachers classroom at the start of the school year.

Lauren Fox

A phone pocket in a teachers classroom at the start of the school year.

Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox

A phone pocket in a teachers classroom at the start of the school year.

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This year, the school has initiated a new cell phone policy for AHS students which involves phone pockets in each classroom. The new policy aims to reduce distractions in the classroom, but since the implementation, there has been speculation that the new policy is being used to reduce vaping in the school bathrooms.

At the start of each class period, students place their phones into their assigned numbered pockets for the duration of the period. This out of sight out of mind philosophy has been implemented in every AHS classroom.

Aspen High Schools Vice Principal Sarah Strassburger explains the new cell phone policy as a way to minimize distractions in the classroom. Strassburger clarifies that she, nor the staff are anti-cell phone, but cell phones are a huge distraction that she even notices adults struggling with. She wants kids to be engaged and present in class to optimize their learning.
What people are finding is that when our cell phone is near us, even if it is silent or turned off or flipped over, we are still actually distracted thinking about if it is going to bing or vibrate. So the best way for kids to be engaged and really present is physical separation, said Strassburger.

Strassburger disclosed that vaping was not the cause of the new cell phone policy, but it was brought to her attention after the policy’s enforcement and she believes that it is going to be a very positive byproduct.

Paige Quist, an AHS senior who has gone to the Aspen schools since 6th grade, did not notice cell phones being an issue in classes prior to the new policy.

I feel like the administration is trying to limit Juuls use, not cell phone use, but they are using cell phones as the issue. I think they are using the cell phone policy to addresses Juuling rather than facing the problem, said Quist.

AHS History Teacher Tamaira Wilson hasn’t heard any complaints from her students since using the pockets. She believes that education and monitoring are the best ways to combat cell phone use in the classroom.

I think there are multiple solutions to that problem [vaping], but I think that anytime we can come up with something that stops groups of kids from participating in bad behavior limit is a good thing, said Wilson. [Students have said] not one word. They are putting their phones in their pockets and we are able to start class

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