In November’s “First Friday” meeting, Simon Sweeney, Dunn’s Middle School (DMS) Director did a wonderful job presenting how whole student development is approached and advanced in the 6th through 8th grades. You can see Simon’s presentation here.

At the conclusion of Simon’s presentation, conversation erupted over the issue of cell phone use by our children. As the discussion progressed, I reflected on an experience in Bliss House dorm a few days earlier. My wife, Maura, who is Head of the 8th Grade dorm at Dunn School, decided that students would concentrate better during the 7pm to 9pm study hall without their cell phones.

Having collected the student phones, she placed them in my study where I was working. Moments after the phones arrived, a chorus of ringing and/or alerts began. The ringing and continued throughout the study period.

My question to the parents attending or listening online to the First Friday conversation was how could our children possibly concentrate on their studies with the constant interruption caused by the cell phone and/or social media notifications? Since that event in the Bliss House dorm, we now control cell phone use in the 8th grade boarding program.

What do you do in your home, or recommend regarding cell phone/social media use during your child’s study time? Is there a method/motivation that helps you and your child to regarding when, where and how cell phones/social media is used in your home? Please know any advice or related stories or questions around this important issue are welcome!

-Mike Beck, Head of School