Cell phone ~ Smart Phone Use in Class:

We ask students to either turn off their cell phones-smart phones during class so no one is distracted while the instructor is presenting classroom materials to the class. There are circumstances in which the student has a child care issue or an elder care issue in which he or she needs to keep their cell phone on to monitor their children or elder family members. We want to be fair and also compassionate and allow these students to be allowed to communicate with those taking care of their children or elders in the event of an emergency...large or small.  I have told each student that, if they are in this situation, they just need to privately let me know and we will do best we can, to allow the student to use the phone several times daily as needed to meet their parental or custodial obligations. This is a huge weight off a students shoulders. I recently was old that I was in violation of HIPAA Regulations by asking a student to confide in the school as to their circumstances. This is not correct. HIPAA has nothing to do with allowing a student to use the phone as needed to keep their children or elder or ill relatives safe, by checking up on them. The student , who made that statement, unfortunately did not know what he was talking about. He was incorrect and he disrupted that class and other students were uncomfortable by his unprofessional behavior.

2 Articles Which Explain HIPAA Regulations:



Google.com Look Up:


Do private schools have to follow HIPAA?

Private schools do not receive any federal grants or funding, therefore, do not fall under FERPA. This means that 

medical records of private school students may require HIPAA compliance Only if Medical Services are involved..


Unless the Vocational school provides Medical services to the student , HIPAA has nothing to do with a request as stated above.


Based upon the information above, a call to our Vocational School Attorney, and a follow-up call to the NYS, Department of State, there is no HIPAA violation what-so-ever,

In the event you do not advise us that you need time to use the smart phone reach a loved one or care giver, we must assume you are simply booking appointments and

not meeting the educational requirements of the class. We will advise you that if you leave for more time than you are permitted to miss, in a class you will not receive credit for the

class and we will not issue you a certificate for the class you have registered for. You are given ample breaks, so we encourage you to make calls during morning and afternoon

breaks as well as lunch breaks. If an emergency occurs, you have every right to answer the phone and if you need to leave, we will allow you to attend the course when it is

offered at a later date and time. Your family is more important than a Continuing Education or Licensing Class. Prioritize your life and realize family comes first. We can always

allow you to attend the course the next time it is offered. But attendance in a course set forth by NYS, Dept. of State is mandatory. We can not violate attendance guidelines.





This has nothing to do with working, while attending class. You cannot complete assignments, type assignments, make appointments or leave every time the phone rings to keep your business going. This is unprofessional and maybe there are other vocational schools willing to look the other way, but I hope not because they are then violating NY State guidelines. If the student misses more time than allowed for a course he or she is taking, they are not entitled to a certificate of completion. The school will ultimately be subject to disciplinary proceedings if they lie as to

attendance records they submit to the NYS, Dept. of State. Eventually a student who complies with attendance rules will be fed up and turn the school in for violating the law.


Let's Make Sure Every Complies With Attendance Requirements In New York State. It Is The Right Thing To Do. Questions? Call Bill C. Merrell, Ph.D-School Director. at 631-563-7720