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In London, the Thames Valley District school board (TVDSB) already has a similar policy in place, but would welcome the ban if it allowed phones to be used for teaching purposes within a classroom, the London Free Press reports.

Instead, McRae said schools should be helping students find a healthy balance for their cellphone use.

"I feel that our cell phones can be used as a tool if used in the right way", says Brooke Demers, a student at St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School. "It's making sure that you create a culture where we know where the boundaries are".

"It could be a good thing, but also a bad thing", says grade 9 student Laura Newman.

NDP education critic Marit Stiles noted that a recent memo from the education ministry advised school boards to defer filling vacancies for retirements and other leaves for teachers and other staff until a promised update by March 15.

Thompson has said exceptions would be made when teachers want to use cellphones as part of their lesson, for medical reasons and for students with special needs.

"Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones", read the statement.

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The researcher for the Alberta Teachers Association said he doesn't think a ban will work.

While Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner agrees that cellphones can be a distraction, he is critical of what he describes as the government's "top-down regulation" approach.

One of these government sources explained to CTV News, "When the school day starts, the phones go off".

The ban follows government conducted education consultations a year ago, in which 97 per cent of respondents stated they favoured restrictions on phones in class.

However, surveys conducted by the Conservative government found that 97 percent of respondents favored a cellphone ban.

The mother, who has two children in elementary school, says that although we live in a world that relies on technology, there's a time and a place for cellphones.

Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning - not their cellphones, ' said provincial Education Minister Lisa Thompson. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.


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