Cell Phone Policies

Cell Phone Use in Middle Schools

Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) adopted an “Away for the Day” cell phone practice for all middle schools beginning in the 2019-20 school year, following a national trend and pilot programs in several middle schools. The Away for the Day initiative supports transforming schools into cell phone-free spaces.

Guidelines for Middle School Students

  1. Cell phone use will not be permitted during the school day between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:05 p.m.
  2. Prior to the tardy bell to start the day, all cell phones, iPods, and other personal electronic devices (excluding personal laptops approved in place of a school laptop) should be turned off and placed in student lockers.
  3. Students may use cell phones during after school events.
  4. Students may use cell phones during field trips for educational purposes and to document the trip. Phones on trips are a safety support. Phone etiquette will be reviewed.

Cell Phone Use in High Schools

ACPS adopted the following cell phone guidelines for high school students beginning in the 2022-23 school year.

Guidelines for High School Students

  1. Cell phone use is prohibited during instructional periods; cell phones must remain silenced and out of sight. School-provided technology will be used to support learning and accessibility needs.
  2. All other communication devices (e.g., smart watches) shall be off or away during instruction.
  3. Students may use cell phones before the start of the school day, between classes, during lunch, and after school.
  4. Students may not use cell phones in the restrooms or in the locker rooms of the school.
  5. Students may use cell phones for instruction when deemed necessary by a 504 plan or IEP team, for medical purposes, and for translation.
  6. In the event of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance, students should notify their teacher of the need to use their phone. With the approval of the teacher, the student will be permitted to go to use their cell phone. Office staff will provide a confidential space for students to use the phone as needed.