Battle High School disables guest Wi-Fi access during school day

5 months 16 hours 53 minutes ago Monday, August 26 2019 Aug 26, 2019 Monday, August 26, 2019 2:00:00 PM CDT August 26, 2019 in News
By: Jacob Cavaiani, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Battle High School is limiting students' access to Wi-Fi on personal devices during the school day, according to a letter sent to parents.

The school made the decision in order to "provide a more focused educational environment for our students," Principal Kim Presko wrote in a letter to parents. As of Monday afternoon, a Change.org petition asking the school to re-enable the Wi-Fi had nearly 1,500 signatures.

Students will still have access to Wi-Fi on school-issued laptops to use educational resources, and students will still be able to use Wi-Fi on personal devices before and after school. 

In the event of an emergency, including a lockdown, the guest Wi-Fi will be turned on immediately so students can communicate with parents, the school said. Parents who need to reach students can also contact the school office.

Students can still use their cell phone data plans, the letter noted. Students can also communicate with parents through their school-issued email account on school issued-laptops, which were issued to all students.

"We've had positive response from parents and the school is already seeing more face-to-face interactions and attentiveness in class since the change went in to effect," Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark wrote in an email.

Baumstark said the school is trying the policy this year. 

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