Richardson ISD is set to approve the hiring of their newest superintendent Tabitha Branum. She previously served as the interim since Dr. Jeannie Stone resigned last December. Fox 4 reports she has been with the Richardson ISD for the last 8 years and now she's wanting to shake things up for students within the district.
Branum posted a video on Saturday, in which she offered up a proposal to update the cell phone policy for middle and high school students.
Fox 4 reports that Branum is wanting the district to purchase pouches for students to keep their phones locked up during the school day. She says teachers and staff have seen how much of ongoing distraction phones are, creating a lack of engagement during instructional time. Fox 4 says that Branum said that the district has also dealt with disciplinary issues stemming from phone use during the day including, cyberbullying, altercations, prohibited activity, and photos and videos in violation of privacy rights, as well as social media posts that result in safety concerns on campus.
Branum would have students put their phones in the pouch and turn them off at the start of school. Students can only unlock the pouch at the end of school. The school board will bring up this proposal during a meeting on Thursday.
According to Yondr, they surveyed over 900 schools that partner with them and measured the effects of phone-free educational environment. 65% of schools saw an improvement in academic performance and 74% saw an improvement in student behavior.