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Prohibition of Cell Phones and Electronic Devices in New York State Assessments

Currently, students are prohibited from using cell phones and other communications devices while taking New York State assessments. However, State Education Department policy does not prohibit students from possessing the devices in exam locations. To further ensure the integrity of State assessments, the current policy is being enhanced to prohibit all students from bringing cell phones and certain other electronic devices into a classroom or other location where a New York State assessment is being administered.
Prohibited devices include, but are not limited to:

  • Cell phones
  • BlackBerry devices and other PDAs
  • iPods and MP3 players
  • iPads, tablets, and other eReaders
  • Laptops, notebooks or any other personal computing devices
  • Cameras or other photographic equipment
  • Headphones, headsets, or in-ear headphones such as earbuds
  • Any device capable of recording audio, photographic or video content, or capable of viewing or playing back such content.

Test proctors, test monitors, and school officials, shall have the right to collect cell phones and other prohibited electronic devices prior to the start of the test and to hold them while the test is being administered, including break periods. Admission to the test shall be denied to any student who refuses to relinquish a prohibited device.

Some students with disabilities may use certain recording/playback devices provided that such an accommodation is specified in the student’s IEP or 504 Plan. Prohibited devices further may be allowed if there is documentation from a medical practitioner on file at the school that a student requires such a device during testing. In all other cases, the prohibition as provided above remains in effect and the student may not enter the exam room with any prohibited device.

This policy is effective immediately for all New York State assessments, including Regents Exams, Regents Competency Tests, Grades 3-8 Tests in English Language Arts and Mathematics, Grades 4 and 8 Science Tests, NYSESLAT, and the NYS Alternate Assessment. The Directions for Administering Regents Examinations for August 2012 and the School Administrator’s Manual, 2012 Edition, will be amended by July 31, 2012, to incorporate this new cell phone and electronic devices policy.