Students at the Ionia Middle School will have to leave their cell phones in their lockers during school hours when classes begin this fall.
Officials says they are concerned about student academic performance and social development.
Student’s cell phones will be required to remain in their lockers from the beginning to the end of the school day – 7:40 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.
If a student is found using a cell phone during school hours the phone will be confiscated and will have to be picked up by parents. Officials say students will not be allowed to reclaim their phones.
The Ionia Board of Education approved the plan at a meeting on Monday night.
The decision to ban cell phones was made following consultation with the entire middle school staff, according to Ionia Middle School principal Wayne Piercefield.
“At the end of every school year we do a process, to determine what we need to continue, what we need to stop, and what we need to start doing,” said Piercefield, who estimates that a large majority of middle school students have cell phones.
Piercefield said the decision was based on both academic and social concerns.
The change does not affect students at Ionia High School.
The Ionia High School cell phone policy – which says the devices are not to be used in class unless it’s for an academic purpose – will remain in place, according to high school Principal Ben Gurk.
High school students will still be allowed to use their cell phones when they are not in class.
Ionia Public Schools contributed to this story