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Killeen ISD has a new plan to curb phone use for the next school year

Killeen ISD said the new plan is meant to eliminate distractions in the learning environment and will cost around $500,000.
Posted at 10:58 AM, Jun 12, 2024

KILLEEN, Texas (KXXV) — Killeen ISD has announced a new plan for the district phone policy next year during their board meeting Tuesday night.

The new plan is meant to eliminate a "constant disruption to the district's learning environment," the district said.

KISD's Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, Dr. Susan Buckley, provided this statement:

“Just ask any educator and they will tell you what a tremendous distraction cell phones have become in schools. Our academic expectations for students remain high, and yet students can’t focus on their schoolwork because of this device that is competing for their attention.”

The district Board of Trustees met on Tuesday night to discuss the new plan.

Starting next school year at all secondary campuses, students will receive pouches to store their phones in upon arriving at school. The pouches will lock—with devices similar to clothing security tags—and will remain locked until the end of the school day.

The district said students will still keep possession of their phones, but they must get permission to use them in designated phone zones where they can tap their pouch on an unlocking base.

Dr. Buckley said other school districts—like La Vega ISD and Richardson ISD—have had success with their moves to make phone-free environments. She said these districts
have seen improved grades, classroom retention, and a drop in cellphone-related discipline issues.

KISD said they will begin the process of finding vendors to supply the pouches to 12 middle schools, six high schools, and four specialty schools.

The district estimates the cost to be around $500,000.

“Phone-free schools will allow our students to better concentrate on schoolwork,” Dr. Buckley said. “It will encourage face-to-face interactions and the development of interpersonal skills that directly impacts student success, which is our ultimate goal.”

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Kids and their cell phones were all the talk at the school board meeting in Killeen.

It's because KISD is planning to roll out new ways to help improve student engagement for the new school year.

The Board of Trustees approved the district's plan to create phone-free schools at all secondary campuses.

So, here's how it would work.

Students would be issued pouches where they will store their cell phone when they arrive at school.

Phones would stay in those security bags until the end of the day.

The plan is expected to cost half a million dollars and would be in place this upcoming school year.