4 Madison schools block social media apps in pilot program

MADISON — Four public schools in Madison are preventing student access to some popular social media apps during the school day to test whether grades, student behavior and school safety improve with fewer online distractions.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the pilot program shuts down free Wi-Fi access to apps, including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and 30 others. The move is seen as a way to redirect impressionable students' attention to learning and away from potential dangers.

The program began May 1 at East High School as well as Wright and Cherokee Middle schools. West High School is scheduled to start the program Monday.

The schools were selected due to their principals' interest in the issue. Test results will include comparison behavior data and feedback from students.

The program will run through the end of the school year.