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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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Department of Education
Guidance Document Change: The 2020 General Assembly passed House Bill 817 requiring the Department of Education (VDOE), in collaboration with the Department of Health and medical professional societies, to develop and distribute health and safety best practice guidelines for the use of digital devices in public schools no later than the 2021-2022 school year. These guidelines address digital device use for different age ranges and developmental levels, the amount of time spent on digital devices in the classroom and at home, appropriate break frequency from the use of digital devices, and physical positioning as it applies to ergonomics and posture.
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4/28/21  11:12 pm
Commenter: Sheila Leonard

Reduce screen usage for elementary learners
 

My seven-year-old walks downstairs and asks to check the blog on her school provided iPad. Over the past year during virtual school she has learned to make videos and "like" comments on the class blog. When she goes in-person for her two hybrid days, she watches videos on the iPad for P.E., during reading and math she's expected to complete lessons and levels on the respective apps. She's an advanced reader who loves to snuggle up with chapter books, but often lately, instead, begs us to let her on the iPad to complete a level in her reading application because her reading group friends are several levels ahead. 

We never say yes.

She is seven years old and should not be forced by public schools to learn, grow, or succeed through device instruction. In kindergarten, devices were sporadically and occasionally used, but after the pandemic, I'm worried public schools will forget that students used to read books, write on paper, and do math by hand. They should be running and jumping in P.E., not watching a video. 

Please ensure screen time for K-2 and 3-5 students is extremely limited, and that there is no required 1-1 device policy for these children. At the very least, parents should be able to opt OUT of this instruction. 

We're all walking around glued to our phones. We know what it does to our concentration, our creativity, our attention-span, and our physical and mental health. Take those lessons learned and STOP the use of devices in schools for young children. 

CommentID: 97757