Newark school fixing tardiness with phones

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Michelle Charlesworth has the details on a New Jersey school's plan to fix tardiness.

Newark schools are creating a new tactic to fight tardiness.

Small simple pouches are getting kids to school on time at Westside High School.

They are a low-tech solution using a lure that is definitely high-tech.

Kids who are habitually late to school must explain their tardiness and hand over their cell phone, turned off, and put it inside a pouch that is then locked.

The lock is just like the magnetic locks that clerks use in clothing stores.

Another special magnetic device is needed to reopen the pouch.

The cell phone stays locked and with the student all day until the end when the Vice Principal unlocks the pouch.

So far the seven-week pilot program has been very successful at getting kids to school on time.

Keep in mind, two thirds of these students are given a cell phone by the school. Yes, the school supplies either a phone or tablet.

A lot of the kids come from families with very few resources. Many students are taking care of small kids. Some even have their own children, or care for elderly grandparents so they may face many responsibilities other kids never dream of, before 8 o'clock in the morning.

There are often very real, very good reasons why these kids are late.

The bottom line is that school administrators know there is a correlation between on-time attendance and success.

So if it takes putting cell phones into locked pouches to see that success, so be it. And other public and private schools are already taking notice.

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educationschoolcellphoneeducationNewarkEssex CountyNew Jersey
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