Winslow School Board Faces Heated Debate Over Cell Phone Policy

The Winslow School Board’s recent meeting saw a turnout from community members, particularly concerning the board’s handling of the proposed cell phone policy. Despite the Citizens Advisory Committee’s recommendation to table the policy for further review, the board proceeded with a motion to approve the superintendent’s report, which included the policy on electronic device usage. The motion to table the policy did not carry, leading to public comments and a student-led proposal backed by 373 signatures requesting amendments to the current policy.

The meeting kicked off with the recognition of a board member’s completion of the New Board Member Academy requirements, as congratulated by the New Jersey School Boards Association. However, the athletic committee’s celebration of student achievements in track and wrestling was soon overshadowed by the controversy that unfolded over the cell phone policy.

Community members and students alike voiced their concerns over the decision not to postpone the policy’s approval. They urged the board to take into account the opinions of the community and suggested visiting surrounding schools to understand how they incorporate technology use within their policies. A student representative presented a case for policy amendment, advocating for suspension as a last resort and granting teachers the discretion to determine appropriate consequences for infractions.

Adding to the array of issues, a missing band room door at the high school was also brought to light by a student representative, emphasizing the negative implications for the music department and its upcoming musical production. This particular point underlined ongoing concerns about the school’s infrastructure and the necessity for timely maintenance and repairs.


In addition to the cell phone policy debates, amendments to the Open Public Records Act were discussed, highlighting contrasting viewpoints among community members. One individual expressed worry that the amendments would make it more difficult for citizens to access government and public records. Another countered that the board would remain compliant with the law, irrespective of any changes.

The board also addressed various operational aspects, such as approving the superintendent and business administration reports, with a modification to the Personnel report that excluded a resignation for the forthcoming school year. The agenda for the administrator report was likewise approved. The potential for a special meeting on Tuesday, March 19th, to approve the tentative budget for the 2024-2025 school year was brought up and agreed upon.

The board’s District Goals for Achievement were discussed, focusing on elevating graduation rates, increasing parent engagement, and refining communication strategies to better market the district. Informational items, including the preschool budget workshop and a donation for the social-emotional learning program, were also on the docket.


The significance of old and new business was briefly touched upon, mentioning the minutes from the last Team Summit meeting. During public comments, a community member articulated the need for the board to share their goals and actionable measures for the district, a request that speaks to the broader demand for transparency and communication.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Dr. H. Major Poteat
School Board Officials:
Cheryl Pitts, Joe Thomas, Lorraine Dredden, Rita Martin, Rebecca Nieves, Julie Peterson, John Shaw, Kelly Thomas, Dorothy Carcamo (Assistant Superintendent), Tyra McCoy-Boyle (Business Adm./Board Secretary), Howard C. Long, Jr (Board Solicitor)

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