"We allow cellphones in a classroom when teachers want to use them for instructional purposes and we do have a formal procedure on that, so we do recognize the value-a phone is actually a computer-and used quite often bt our classroom teachers".
However, it will still be up to individual school boards and schools to determine how to enforce the ban.
The Ford government says it will soon fulfill a key election campaign promise - to ban cellphones from Ontario classrooms when students return to school this fall.
In France, students are now forbidden from using their phones in the classroom or even during breaks.More news: Opportunity rover captured lovely panoramic images before being felled by dust storm
Sichel said cellphones have only become more prevalent since then and he estimates that 90 per cent of his students have one.
The ban comes on the heels of a public consultation conducted previous year.
The Ontario provincial government conducted consultations on the cellphone ban previous year, with 97 percent of respondents favoring some sort of restriction on phones in class, according to Thompson.
"We've always maintained that a student using their own personal devices is good for learning as long as it's not distracting them from their learning and under the guidance of the teacher or staff member in that room", says John Howitt, superintendent of education at GECDSB.More news: Mozambique braces for 'extremely dangerous' Cyclone Idai
As Ontario schools prepare for a blanket ban on cellphones during class time, the Alberta government says they're not going to follow suit.
The Green party questioned why a government focused on cutting red tape is introducing "a top-down regulation that complicates things for educators on the front line".
"Schools and teachers have well-established limits and boundaries with regard to cellphone use in schools and the classroom, similar to other classroom expectations, which are designed to create positive learning environments". The board opted to give teachers greater latitude to integrate smartphones into classwork. "But in another class there may be no reason you should have a cellphone out, in that case students may be told to put it away for now, that they don't need them", TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said on Tuesday.
Details of the new policy are expected in an official announcement within the next week. But a distraction is a distraction, regardless of if it's a cellphone or not and teachers have been doing that for decades.More news: How do Champions League, Europa draws affect Premier League title, Top Four?
For example, in Canada's capital, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has an Appropriate Use of Technology policy.