Ontario Takes Action to Focus on Learning
Cellphone Restriction in Classrooms to Take Effect this Year
TORONTO — Ontario's Minister of Education announced plans to move forward with restricting the use of cellphones and other personal mobile devices in classrooms beginning November 4, 2019.
The restriction applies to instructional time at school, however, exceptions will be made if cellphones are required for health and medical purposes, to support special education needs, or for educational purposes as directed by an educator.
During the consultation on education reform in fall 2018, 97 per cent of parents, students and teachers who participated said that cellphone use should be restricted in some way.
In response to this feedback, the Provincial Code of Conduct has been updated to include this restriction. It sets clear standards of behaviour and requires that all school boards ensure their own codes of conduct are up to date and consistent with requirements.
"When in class, students should be focused on their studies, not their social media," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "That's why we are restricting cellphones and other personal mobile devices in the classroom, while making sure technology is available to help students achieve success in the digital economy and modern workforce."
To ensure that parents and guardians are clear on the new guidelines, including the exceptions, the following resources are available:
- Parents' Guide to the Provincial Code of Conduct
- Cellphones and Other Personal Mobile Devices in Schools - Questions and Answers for Parents and Guardians
The restriction on cellphones and other personal mobile devices is part of the government's plan Education That Works for You, that will improve learning, enhance classrooms and empower educators to better prepare students for the realities of today's modern world.