Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BISD Students and Teachers Recognized

At the regular monthly BISD Board Meeting, two students and two teachers were recognized for outstanding service.

Jacob Hernandez and Christopher Salomon were recognized for school and civic service, with certificates presented by Principal Kris Shaver.

Principal Shaver also recognized two teachers for going above and beyond in the classroom.

Elementary Teacher Janice Bridges with her certificate. Hannah Noel, also an elementary teacher, was recognized, but is away on family leave. (So that's why Mrs. Noel was given a baby shower a few weeks ago.)

CONGRATULATIONS to the recipients.

And now, about those cell phones.

Improper cell phone use by students in the classroom has risen sharply the last few weeks. Partly because it's easier for students to conceal cell phones in winter clothing. Whatever the reason for students violating student conduct rules, if a student is texting, listening to music or watching videos on their phones in class,they are NOT learning or participating in class. Parents/guardians must emphasize their children are to keep their phones off during school time. Parents/guardians should NOT be texting their children at school during school hours. Without spending thousands of dollars, there is little more the school system can do to electronically control student cell phone use in the classroom.

There are land line phones campus wide in case of emergency. Teachers are allowed to activate their cell phones in case of emergency. (Yep, teachers cell phones are to be off during instructional times,) If a student becomes sick, that student must report to the nurse for evaluation and documentation, instead of texting their parents to come get them. ALL the school computer labs are fully equipped and functional. There is simply no educationally sound reason for students to be accessing their phones in or between classes.

So here it is. If you want your children to succeed, be capable of learning, graduate high school and be employable or college bound, IF you care and want to be the reason Buckholts schools succeed and stay open and accredited, curb your child's cell phone usage at school. Severely limit available talk time. Maybe take it away for a month or more. Put time-of-use restrictions on that phone (check with your carrier for instructions).

Now, some will ask why the big deal? Well, DUH, first the obvious distraction! Secondly, for a recent example, someone on campus has been using a Samsung S7 smart phone as an internet "hotspot" attempting to bypass the school's internet filter (required by Federal and State law, and yes it is a pain). If that Samsung S7 is used enough as an internet hotspot, I likely will be able to identify the perpetrator and subsequent hotspot users.

This hotspot issue, or similar attempts to bypass school internet controls is serious business. For example, were I able to identify a school staff member using their cell phone as a hotspot at school in a subversive or "recreational" manner, I would, with supporting evidence, name that person to the school board with a recommendation that person be fired, on the spot, and criminal charges be filed. Yeah! It's that serious. And ridiculous so much time is spent on cell phone issues at BISD.

Research from  the University of Texas and Louisiana State University shows that test scores increase between 6-14% when cell phones are not allowed in the classroom. Here's the link:   

That 6-14% might keep the schools open. Just sayin' . . .