New Kensington-Arnold considers relaxing policies on electronic devices, dress code
New Kensington-Arnold School District is taking steps to relax policies on what students can wear and their use of electronic devices.
Superintendent John Pallone said the district’s existing policy on electronic devices, last revised more than a decade ago, doesn’t reflect how prevalent the devices have become or how attitudes about their use in schools have changed.
As written, the policy currently prohibits the possession and use of electronic devices on school property and during school-sponsored activities.
Pallone said teachers who provided input during a Feb. 25 meeting of the school board’s education committee said they felt the devices should be allowed as long as their usage doesn’t interfere with classes or other school programs. Between 20 to 30 teachers attended that meeting, along with parents and school administrators.
School board President Bob Pallone, the superintendent’s brother, said revisions being considered include establishing certain zones or areas dictating how the devices can be used.
According to the board president, so-called red zones would be areas where the use of cellphones, electronic tablets and laptops is off-limits. Use of such devices would be allowed in yellow zones with the permission of a teacher, and students would be free to use electronic devices in green zones without seeking permission.
The superintendent said the dress code could become a little less restrictive in what he said was more or less a concession to modern fashion, but it wouldn’t have any real effect on the educational process.
John Pallone said the district would likely consider allowing items such as torn or frayed blue jeans and off-the-shoulder tops, but other items such as flip-flops, tube tops and string tops could remain prohibited.
Once the polices are reviewed and agreement on the changes are reached, the revisions would come before the board for final approval before going into effect.