DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The new school year has kicked off for Danville Public Schools (DPS) and this year school officials say the goal is to engage students, support their academic success, and promote positive social interactions.

This means a stricter policy with phones.

DPS has announced that it will be implementing its “Unplug 2 Learn” policy to encourage students to refocus their attention on learning. The school says in order to engage and promote positive social interactions and connections they have to remove major barriers such as cell phones and other electronic devices.

The new policy states the use of any type of unauthorized electronics or mechanical device that is not part of the instructional program will not be allowed during school hours. Students will not be permitted to record or audio record staff during the school day or during a school-sponsored activity.

Here is the DPS phone policy breakdown by grade:

Pre-K and Elementary Students (PreK-5th Grade)

Cell phones are prohibited during school hours and at school-sponsored events. All phones must be turned off and stored out of sight after the first bell, or at the start of the school day. The phone must remain off until the last bell or at the end of the school day.

Secondary Students (6th-12th Grade)

Students are allowed to use their cell phones at designated times in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Students can use their phones while riding the school bus by utilizing headphones, earbuds, etc, so others are not disturbed.
  • May have cell phones in their possession, but the phone must be turned off and stored out of sight after the first bell. The phone must remain off until the last bell.
  • High school students can only use their phones at lunch but once lunch is over, their phones must be stored away before leaving the cafeteria.
  • Students can use their phones, with personal listening equipment such as headphones, etc at after-hour, school-sponsored events so that they do not disrupt or interfere with the events taking place

Consequences for cell phone violations (PreK – 12th Grade)

DPS says all prohibited devices will be confiscated by school staff and returned to the parent/ guardian at the end of the school day. If the device is used on or off school property and caused a disruption in school, the school has the authority to discipline the student in accordance with the Studen CORES.

  • 1st Offense (PreK-12) – The cell phone will be confiscated by an administrator or designee and returned to the parent/guardian at the end of the school day. The student will receive a discipline referral-Warning.
  • 2nd Offense – Before-School detention, After-School detention, or Saturday-School detention (Phone will be returned upon completion of detention).
  • 3rd Offense – A disciplinary referral will be issued, and the student’s cell phone privileges will be banned for the remainder of the year.

Consequences for using any electronic device to audio and/or video record students, teachers, and/or staff without permission (Pre K-12th Grade)

  • 1st Offense – 5-day suspension with a call to the parent/guardian
  • 2nd Offense – 7-day suspension with a call to the parent/guardian
  • 3rd Offense – 10-day suspension with the recommendation for long-term suspension

Danville Public Schools says phones at RISE Academy will be prohibited.

To see the full policy, click here.