H-PT allows cell phones

HOUGHTON – The Houghton-Portage Township Schools Board of Education approved allowing the use of cell phones and other electronic devices during lunch for middle and high school students at its monthly board meeting Monday.

The board unanimously approved the changes, which had been in place on a trial basis this fall.

“I think we’ve gotten some good feedback from students and staff, and I think it’s an opportunity for change with technology,” said Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil. “It’s something the schools need to do today. We need to keep up with technology advancements.”

The board discussed the Common Core State Standards. The state House of Representatives has approved funding; the state Senate has yet to vote on the issue.

“We’re just keeping an eye on it and waiting to see what the State of Michigan is going to do with the funding for the Common Core,” Klingbeil said.

The board also talked about the national State Farm Celebrate My Drive contest.

Houghton High School is competing alongside Calumet High School, Hancock Central High School and Jeffers High Schoolt.

In student reports, Klingbeil said the board heard from Ian Helman of the Interact Club. Sponsored by the Houghton Rotary, the group typically does events or fundraisers – one a global project, one local. Frank Bonacorsi is advisor for the group, which has about 25 students.

“It’s an opportunity for kids to participate in helping others,” Klingbeil said.

Jacob Colling of the Student Council discussed the new student luncheon, fall formal dance, and the Canathon, which will run concurrently with Wing Ding. Houghton will compete with Hancock to collect for the Western U.P. Food Bank. The winner will receive $250 from Portage Health. Students will also collect for Toys for Tots during the holidays.