ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Students at one Round Rock ISD campus no longer have the option of being distracted by their phones even if they don’t want to pay attention in class.
New this school year Success High is forcing students to turn over their phones by placing them inside cloth pockets attached to the classroom wall before they sit down at their desks.
School leaders discussed the idea for years but consistently faced opposition from some teachers who worried the students wouldn’t be exposed to new technology.
However, this summer Assistant Principal Jerrod Gertsema piloted a program and achieved drastic results.
“We saw a great increase in the number of courses that were completed in summer learning,” Gertsema said.
In-class productivity spiked 50 percent – enough evidence to turn the pilot program into full-time policy campus-wide. It’s also leading to deeper conversations
“There’s communication, kids are talking, they’re not just on their cell phone,” Career and Technology Education Teacher Catherine Chang said.
Senior Victoria Brener is among the more than 300 students at Round Rock’s Success High getting used to the separation.
“Last year if it was in my pocket, I would pull it out, and check it, and I didn’t get as much work done,” Brener said. “I’m definitely getting a lot more done.”
Round Rock ISD isn’t adopting the “no cell phone” policy at all of its campuses because many do not have the same level of technology offered to students as Success High does.