Cellphone distractions are common nowadays, including in schools. The faculty at Lumen Christi High School in Anchorage decided to do something about them by implementing a new cellphone-free policy this year.

"We found a lot of distractions in our classrooms, and cellphones were a major part of that," principal Brian Ross said.

Ross held meetings with his staff and then informed the parents of a new policy the private Catholic school was planning to put in place at the start of the school year.

"The cellphone policy did come up and I asked parents, what do you think of the new cell phone policy?" Ross said. "I wouldn't say that I got a standing ovation, but I think there was a lot of applause that showed the approval of the policy itself."

Under the policy, students hand in their phones to their teachers at the start of the school day have them returned at the end of the day.

A student who doesn't comply has consequences. For the first offense, their phone gets taken by the teacher for the day.

For a second offense, the phone is taken to the office where only a parent can get it back.

After a third offense, the student is not allowed to have the phone for the remainder of the semester.

It’s six weeks into the new policy, and faculty says the results are profound. 

"The kids are more focused, they put more effort into their work and they are friendlier," said Antje Carlson, Lumen Christi’s humanities department chair said. 

Lunch time and passing between classes used to be silent. Now, those times are filled with student chatter. 

Carlson says even the students’ response has been largely positive.

"When we implemented that at the beginning -- the cell phone policy at the beginning of the new school year -- nothing," Carlson said. “Just positive, I can really think of nothing else to say. It was just positive. I can't advise more schools to put it in, to implement this policy, it's great." 

Ross says that, as a result of the new school policy, many parents and families are re-evaluating their phone policies at home.

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