New Law Asks CA Schools To Ban Smartphones In Classrooms

California public and charter schools can now ban students from using smartphones in class and at school, except under certain circumstances.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 272 in early July.

The new law asks all school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to come up with smartphone policies to limit or prohibit student use at school. AB 272 does allow for certain allowances, including:

Read more… (CBS 13)

Tech Execs Concerned About Their Kids’ Smartphone Addictions

Like a lot of parents, Mike Herrick occasionally sees his 13-year-old daughter getting lost in her smartphone and wonders: Is technology messing with children’s brains, even as it enlightens and empowers them in ways that weren’t possible when his generation grew up?

What sets Herrick apart is his job. He is a product and engineering executive at Urban Airship, a company in Portland, Oregon, that makes online tools that send the kind of relentless notifications that can make people act like bears near a honey pot.

The tensions between the pride Herrick takes in his profession and his parental qualms about technology tug particularly hard when he sees his daughter, Lauren, and her friends texting each other instead of talking — when they’re sitting 5 feet apart. Or when he hears a friend jokingly describe him as a “mobile arms dealer.”

Read more… (CBS 13)

Screen time and kids: Setting limits for better health


So, how can you help your kids develop healthy digital habits? 

Spending too much time on devices — whether it’s playing video games, watching television, searching the internet, or even engaging with “educational” apps — can be harmful to a young child’s physical and mental health. Kate Land, MD, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Vacaville Medical Center and author of the Thriving Families blog, notes that children who spend more time looking at screens are more likely to be overweight and have disrupted sleep. Read more..

CA Assembly Committee on Education Passes AB8

The California Assembly Committee on Education passed Assembly Bill 8 (Chu) – Mental Health Services in K-12 Schools, as amended, this morning. There were four 4 aye votes. The bill is now headed to the California Assembly Committee on Health.

The Bill, which is sponsored by Mental Health America of California (MHAC), requires every K-12 school campus in the state to have mental health professionals assigned there, at a ratio of one mental health professional for every 400 students.

According to an MHAC email, the recommendation that led to this bill came directly from the California Youth Empowerment Network youth board. 

“This is a direct request from young people,” the email states. “They want mental health support at school. We must step up and honor their request.”

Elk Grove Unified Announces Launch of New Online Incident Reporting System With 24/7 Access for Students and Parents

The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) announces the launch of a new online Incident Reporting System that offers students, parents and community members a web accessible method to report incidents of bullying, discrimination and/or harassment, harm to school and/or property or harm to self. In July of 2018, the Board of Education supported student and parent requests for the need of a more private and trackable district wide incident reporting system and gave the District direction to secure such a system. The Board of Education approved a district wide available system that will track and notify school officials about online reported incidents of bullying, discrimination or harassment, harm to school/property or harm to self.

The Incident Reporting System can be accessed from anywhere online through a unique link located on every school’s website. For emergencies and/or urgent situations requiring immediate help, people will still be encouraged to call 911 or contact EGUSD’s Safety and Security office at (916) 686-7786.

When making an online report in the new Incident Reporting System, it will not be necessary to enter one’s name or identity, however, there is an option to provide identification and contact information in order to communicate with the Incident Response Team. Photos and links to video can be submitted with a report.

The types of issues that can be reported through the online Incident Reporting System are:

  • Bullying – Bullying includes verbal, non-verbal, physical or emotional acts against another student either in person, via electronic device or online.
  • Damage or Harm to School or Property – Damage or harm to school property includes intentional destruction to the school or school property in a harmful or malicious manner.
  • Discrimination or Harassment – Discrimination or Harassment includes acts against another person on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, age, or personal beliefs either in person, via electronic device or online.
  • Harm to Self or Others – Harm includes intent or desire to injure yourself or others.

Incident reports made on the Incident Reporting System are received by administration when they are submitted and reports are reviewed as soon as possible. All reports are taken seriously and are acted upon in a timely manner. As each incident is different, each will warrant a different reaction and timeline for action and can be as thorough as the information provided.

The Elk Grove Unified School District is committed to providing a safe, secure and healthy environment that allows every Student to be learning in every classroom, in every subject, every day. The district believes that students and staff have the right to be free of bullying, threats, intimidation and harassment while on our campuses or participating in or being associated with any school/district related activity. In Elk Grove Unified, the community is encouraged that “if you see something, or know something, to say something.” If students, parents or community members witness something, please report the issue to the school or use the new EGUSD Incident Reporting System.

Related Link:

> Incident Reporting System FAQs