Weekly roundup: Curbing cell phones at lunch, designing cities on Venus, unveiling a stadium and more

What happens when you prevent students from using their cell phones during lunch? They hang out and talk, apparently. As in face-to-face.

TypewriterThat’s what’s being reported over at Corona del Mar Middle School, which, according to this Daily Pilot story, is a few weeks into a new policy that asks students to curb their smart devices at lunchtime, allowing their use only in designated areas like the front office.

Principal Rebecca Gogel told the newspaper kids tended to be glued to their personal screens a year ago, and those without a phone felt left out.

The campus’ new rule followed discussions from teachers and has been lauded by some PTA members. But that doesn’t mean smartphones and other devices don’t have a place at CdM Middle. They’re still used regularly to enhance classroom lessons.

And here are some other education stories from the week ending Sept. 22:

  • A science teacher from Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove is among eight state finalists in the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program.
  • Californians may have another way of evaluating their neighborhood schools, as Oakland-based GreatSchools is unveiling an enhanced ratings system that includes metrics on course access, student progress and equity.
And for additional education news stories, visit news.ocde.us.