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Kootenay Columbia School District preparing for provincial restrictions on phone usage in classrooms

SD20 awaiting further details from Ministry of Education
SD20 schools like Kinnaird Elementary will be getting new cell phone policies for the 2024/2025 school year. File photo

In the wake of a provincial announcement that the government plans to restrict the use of phones in B.C. classrooms, Kootenay Columbia School District 20 is preparing for the changes.

Premier David Eby announced the government’s intentions on Jan. 26, with changes set to take effect in the next school year. The announcement did not define what “restrict” means, other than to say they will require school boards to set policy on cell phone use.

SD20 Superintendent Katherine Shearer says the Ministry of Education is expected to provide further guidance by spring break.

In the mean time, the district is gathering information on what is currently happening in classrooms and schools throughout the district in preparation for developing a new policy.

“I think this is a positive move,” said Shearer. “This will empower schools to follow through on expectations around personal devices.”

Shearer is also excited about the province’s plans to remove explicit images and to pursue online predators as well hold social media companies accountable.

Eby said the province will sue social media companies because of what he called “addictive and toxic algorithms.”

“These measures will help us maintain a safe and secure learning environment in a digital age,” said Shearer.


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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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