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|Abingdon Students Allowed Cell Phone Use at Lunch
|Students at Abingdon High School now have cell phone privileges at school.
The District 217 School Board, after some reservations, agreed unanimously Wednesdaynight to change the cell phone policy. The change permits the high school students to use their phones during lunch time only. They have to be powered off and stored in lockers at all other times during the school day. The old policy allowed students to keep the phones on them, but they had to be off. Board members Jim Bloomberg and Sherry Lomax expressed concerns about the new policy, but those concerns seem to have be allayed by high school principal Chad Cox.
Cox tells WGIL the students will ultimately decide whether the new policy sticks.
"We hope the students will take advantage of this privilege and not abuse it. You know, like they say, with power comes great responsibility, so we trust our students. They are the ones who came to me with this idea requesting (the use of cell phones during lunch), so I think we are responding to their feedback and request...we'll see how it goes and we like to think the best of what they're going to with this privilege."
Cox and members of the board agreed that the new cell phone policy can be changed back to the way it was if students don't comply.
Cox also spoke to the school board about concerns with high school math scores on the Prairie State Achievement Exam and low interest in enrolling in high level math classes. Only 39 percent of last year's juniors met or exceeded standards on the PSAE, well below the 62.5 percent benchmark for achieving Adequate Yearly Progress.
Cox and other school district officials are looking into why there's been such a shift from strong math scores by the same students as 8th graders. Officials believe student apathy and math phobia might be part of the problem, and they plan to further research the issue to get it corrected.
|10 16 08 by Newsroom
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