NORFOLK, Neb. -- The Norfolk Public School board looked at proposed changes to the school’s cell phone and electronic devices policy.

Principals from the elementary, middle, junior high, and senior high schools approached the board on cell phones, electronics, and smart watches.

For all four schools, smart watches are allowed to be worn and used as clocks, but not used for communication.

At the senior high school, the proposed changes would not allow electronic devices including cell phones during class.

Norfolk Senior High Principal Jason Settles said this is all to make the practices universal.

“We had very established norms in our classroom,” Settles said. “Most of those individual practices fall within what the staff has proposed next year.”

Settles said a survey conducted, 93% of the staff responded and 90% said they would agreed with the proposed changes.

According to Assistant Principal Beau Viergutz, Norfolk Junior High School saw success with their second year of the policy.

Viergutz said the biggest issue at the school is the use of cellphones and earbuds.

New changes would make the third offense by a student an ISS and detention.

In the current policy, the device would be confiscated and brought to the office. 

The first and second offense will remain as discussions with the teacher and contacting the parent. 

“Is it something that we deal with? Yes. Is it an egregious amount? Not compared to other things we deal with," Viergutz said.

He said the school saw 141 violations of the cell phone policy and 11 students had three or more repeat offenses.

Under the new guidelines, students will be allowed to use their phone during lunch, passing periods, and after school.

Middle school students are allowed to bring their phones into school, but it must be shut off when they enter the building and kept in their locker.

The only time they can be used is at the end of the day when exiting the building.

In the elementary school, all cell phones must be turned off and put away.

School board member Beth Shashikant said the changes are a good step to correct a problem with devices in school.

“We’re in the business of education not necessarily parenting, so I think this is a great start,” Shashikant said. “It’s a great compromise.”

The board will vote on these changes at their next board meeting on July 8.