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updated: 4/5/2011 5:38 PM

District 207 tests new cell phone policy

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Starting next week, Maine Township High School District 207 students will be allowed limited use of personal mobile phones in certain areas of the school.

The district banned student use of cell phones during the school day in 1998. The school board on Monday night suspended the current policy.

District 207 spokesman Dave Beery said for the remainder of this school year, students will be allowed to use their cell phones in designated areas, during emergencies, for individualized educational programs and for instructional purposes during class.

"The overriding consideration in all of these exceptions is that when cell phones are used, they are not used in a way that it is disruptive to the education process," Beery said.

If the test is successful at the district's three high schools, the school board will adopt a new cell phone use policy in June and the new policy would go into effect next school year, he added.

"That will give administrators and teachers a chance to view how the proposed policy works," Beery said. "It gives students a chance to live with it for a few weeks, and then before the June meeting, the administration will report back to the board on how things went and recommend some tweaks."

The school board is currently in a months-long process of reviewing and revising nearly the entire policy book, updating policies that haven't been updated in a while, Beery said.