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Cellphones banned from classrooms at Collingwood school

When it comes to students bringing cellphones to class, one school in Collingwood won’t keep their criticism on “silent” any longer.

Pretty River Academy announced they’ve banned student cell phones from their classes this year. In a message on their website, the school says when students come to class, the offending technology must be placed in a basket that will be provided.

“No phones are allowed at desk or workspace,” the statement reads. “Students may pick up their phones at the end of the class. Messages can be checked at recesses and lunch breaks. Alternatively, phones can be left in the student’s locker.”

The independent school — which offers curriculum from pre-school to grade 12 —  was also one of the first in the province to ban WiFi in the classroom.

“The cellphone is the biggest distraction to a child’s learning,” Pretty River Academy headmaster Brayden Plummer said in a release. “When we suggested the idea our teachers supported it unanimously.”

As for criticism that the school is working against the tide of technology in the classroom, Plummer said there is a time and place for technology at Pretty River Academy, but cell phones are simply too much of a distraction to students.

“This isn’t about reversing technology,” said Plummer. “Two of our students won the national science fair last year for inventing new technologies. We also have a competitive robotics team in our school.

“Cellphones are amazing but have no place in the classroom. Some leading business schools have even banned laptops because students retain more information by listening and writing, than by clicking and typing.”

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