‘Away for the Day’ removes smart devices during school day at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School

'Away for the Day' removes smart devices during school day at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 7:24 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 7:25 PM CDT
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LUXEMBURG, Wis. (WBAY) - A big change this year is happening for students at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School. They can no longer have cell phones in the classroom. The pilot program is part of a nationwide initiative called, “Away for the Day.”

The school doesn’t take the phones away but students here at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School are required to store the devices in their locker from the first bell to the final bell, to prevent learning distractions.

For the first time this fall, 7th and 8th graders at Luxemburg-Casco are setting their cell phones aside, before walking into a classroom with the principal telling us, he’s anxious to see the results.

“We’re not taking them, we’re not having them check them in the office. We may take them if there’s a violation but the fact they’re in their locker, in their backpack it means they can maintain them, I think that’s helpful, that’s reasonable,” said Todd Chandler the Principal at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School.

The cell phone policy stems from a nationwide initiative known as “Away for the Day,” which has conducted research showing that students interrupted by text messages have test scores, almost 11 percent lower, than those who have no interruptions.

Before enacting the policy, parents in Luxemburg-Casco were surveyed, with four in five saying they favor restrictions. The district says 89 percent of middle school students have cell phones and so far, feedback has been relatively positive.

“Our plan right now is to have it all year. I think the other members of the administrative team and others within the district are interested to see how things go for us. For us, we’re going to be looking at our academic data, our other information, our behavioral data and things to see about the success or failure,” said Chandler.

According to information put out by “Away for the Day,” 56 percent of middle schools across the country have no restrictions at all on cell phone usage.