# who tried
# met the Challenge
$ Principal Smith paid
The No-Tech-Tuesday Challenge
At last year’s 7-8th grade Valediction, I challenged the 160 students to commit to NO screen time of any kind for each of the 11 Tuesdays this summer break, from June 13 through August 22. With each No-Tech-Tuesday, students experienced life without the ever-present screen so integral to our modern life.
The response to this Challenge has been wonderful. Many students, both in these designated grades and beyond, took on the Challenge. Some parents did too, and it has been interesting to hear how many adults have said either they could not do it or didn’t even want to try. I received reflections from students who said it was especially hard in the beginning, but many also said it was ultimately liberating. I am most delighted to hear that students came to understand the power of habit and especially their ability to CHANGE their habits, if they choose. This knowledge will serve them well, in managing technology and many other aspects of life.
On Tuesday, August 29, we held our special assembly for the 8th and 9th graders, at which we heard from Challenge participants and honored those who made it the full 11 Tuesdays without screens. Thirty-four of them received a $100 bill, though four students did the Challenge but declined to accept the monetary award, explaining the reason I handed out $3,400 rather than $3,800.*
As we return to the routine of the school year, I hope all will remember the primary lesson of this Challenge:
Limits free you!
Diana Smith, Principal
Resources & Reading
“Melinda Gates: I spent my career in technology. I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids,” Washington Post, August 24, 2017
Phone apps aren’t good or bad in themselves, but they can exacerbate the difficulties of growing up.
Is there an appropriate age for kids to get their first cell phone? by Amy Aubert/ABC7, Wednesday, November 15th 2017 WASHINGTON (ABC7) — “If I let them be on these devices all the time, they would be,” said Diana Smith, Principal at the Washington Latin Public...read more
Q&A: At D.C.’s Washington Latin Public Charter School, ‘the Greatest Success Is the Culture’ By Emily Langhorne, Reinventing America's Schools Diana Smith, principal of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., received a lot of press this summer...read more
The dangers of smartphone addiction By Harry Horton, 14 Sep 2017, Channel NewsAsia Smartphones have revolutionised the way we live and have helped billions of people around the world stay in touch and become more productive. But recent studies suggest more than a...read more
Upper school Arabic teacher Joe Hamd was interviewed on Al Jazeera Arabic in a live TV broadcast around the globe. He spoke about Qatar Foundation International and teaching Arabic in the United States. He had the chance to speak about the work that QFI does to...read more
DC students get paid $100 for putting their phones away Evan Koslof, WUSA-9, August 30, 2017 WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) - A couple months ago, WUSA9 brought you the story of an unusual challenge at one D.C. school. The principal at the Washington Latin Public Charter...read more
What I Learned From ‘No Tech Tuesday’: Students Speak About A Summer Without Technology By Kate McGee, August 29, 2017 Before students at Washington Latin Public Charter School in Northwest D.C. left for summer break, their principal announced an unusual summer...read more