• Background


    House Bill 379 lines 211-215 state, “a student may not use a wireless communications device during instructional time, except when expressly directed by a teacher solely for educational purposes. A teacher shall designate an area for wireless communications devices during instructional time.”


    Students at Harmony High School will not be permitted to use wireless communication devices (cell phones) from 6:45 am to 2:15 pm.


    Osceola School Board Policy 8.63 states, “A student may possess a wireless communication or electronic device such as a personal digital assistant (PDA), laptop computer, notebook, tablet, or smart phone, in school, on school property, at after school activities, and at school related functions under specified conditions:


    1. The device may be used for academic or extracurricular purposes when permitted by a teacher, instructional aide, coach, or activity sponsor.
    2. The student may use the device for class assignments and to access the District network.
    3. The wireless communication or other electronic device must remain powered down, silenced, and stored out of sight during school hours unless permitted for academic purposes and on school vehicles.”

    The School Board of Osceola County’s 2023-24 Code of Student Conduct, under Section, “Cellular Communication Device (CCP)” states, “the device may only be used by a student before (providing the conversation is terminated before the commencement of school) and after regular school hours. Lunch time is considered as school hours. The principal may require the device to be registered with the school prior to allowing students to use them in the manner described above. The school district shall not be responsible for lost or stolen communication devices. Section 1006.07(02), Florida Statutes, sets forth the minimum requirements for the code of student conduct.”




    Earbuds and headphones are not permitted during the school day (6:45 am – 2:15 pm), unless part of an academic assignment. Listening to music while completing assignments is not considered part of an academic assignment.


    Amnesty through reminders will occur from August 10 - August 25, 2023. August 28 will commence enforcement in accordance with the code of conduct.


    • 1st Infraction: Confiscation of device through the end of the day (minor infraction)
    • 2nd Infraction: Confiscation of device requiring parent pick up (minor infraction)
    • 3rd Infraction: Confiscation of device requiring parent pick up and parent conference on day of pickup (minor infraction)
    • 4th Infraction & Beyond: Confiscation of device requiring parent pickup and 1 day of Out of School Suspension the following day of school (referral)




    Refusal to turn in a device for confiscation, or deliberately misleading a school administrator by turning over a prop phone, once a violation has occurred, will be treated as insubordination and subject to discipline and a written referral. For this, the following discipline progression will be followed:


    • 1st Infraction: Confiscation of device requiring parent pick up and 1 day of In School Suspension the following day of school (referral for insubordination)
    • 2nd Infraction & Beyond: Confiscation of device requiring parent pickup and 1 day of Out of School Suspension the following day of school (referral for insubordination)


    Students may freely submit their cell phones for storage with school personnel to be held securely through the end of each the day. 


    Coaches and club sponsors must use email to push messages out to their students during the school day. Communicating through a messaging app can occur outside of the school day.

    This policy will be in effect for the entirety of the school day (this includes but is not limited to lunch, transition, etc.). 




    Given the parameters outlined in HB 379, Board Policy 8.63 and the SDOC Code of Student Conduct, the Superintendent authorizes the following exceptions to the policy governing the enforcement of student cell phone usage:


    Teachers may permit student use of wireless connection devices for academic purposes specifically within the lesson plan that the district-issued device cannot accomplish. District-issued laptop computers serve as wireless connection devices for the purposes of learning. Teachers may not permit cell phone usage for non-academic usage such as a reward. If the district-issued device is not sufficient, we ask teachers to engage administrators for assistance.  

    Students that use applications on a personal device to monitor medical conditions may use their personal device, as prescribed. These conditions should already be notated in FOCUS.

    It is understood that during school-wide emergencies (not drills), such as lockdowns, the cell phone policy will not be enforced.

    Parents needing to contact their child will do so through the school’s main office. Students may use SDOC classroom telephones or school office telephones to communicate with parent. In case of emergency requiring parent contact, the office will dispatch staff to bring student to area to receive call from parent. If it’s not an emergency, school personnel will relay the message to the student. Parent reserves the right to not share the subject matter of the call no matter if it’s an emergency or not. The first hour of the school day and the last hour of the school day are high traffic times in school offices.  

    Because standardized testing prohibits the use of cell phones, and the expectation is to have high quality instruction delivered every day, there is no exception for days before breaks or testing days.