School For Excellence Cell Phone Policy

 

Dear Parents,

We are writing to share exciting news - we will be making our school a phone-free space to improve teaching and learning! We will be using a system called Yondr: to achieve this goal. Yondr has been used worldwide in over 1,000 schools, concerts, comedy shows, businesses, camps, weddings, and special events of all kinds. The goal of these spaces is to encourage people to engage with each other and their surroundings.

We believe that cell phones have great utility. We have also found that learning and social behavior drastically improve when students fully engage with their teachers and classmates.

The Yondr Program employs a simple, lockable pouch that stores a cell phone. Every student will secure their cellphone in a personally assigned Yondr pouch when they arrive at school. Students will maintain possession of their phones and won’t use them until they open their pouches at the end of the school day. Students are required to bring their Yondr pouch to and from school every day; they are responsible for their pouch at all times.

We are encouraged by the effects of this system in learning institutions. Yondr surveyed over 900 school partners to measure the impact of creating phone-free educational environments. These schools achieved notable progress in multiple areas:

  • 65% of schools saw an improvement in academic performance
  • 74% of schools saw an improvement in student behavior
  • 83% of schools saw an improvement in student engagement in the classroom

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school directly at 718- 860-1385

If there is an emergency and you would like to get in contact with your student, please reach out to Principal Leslie Aquino at 718-860-1385

To best serve your child, we appreciate your full support in adopting the Yondr Program at our school.

Thank you,

School For Excellence Administration

 

How Yondr Works

 

1. CASE

As you enter the phone-free area, students will place phones in a Yondr case.

2. LOCK

Once inside, the case will lock. You'll maintain possession of your phone at all times.

3. UNLOCK

To use your phone, step outside and tap it on any unlocking base.

For more information, visit the Yondr website at https://www.overyondr.com/howitworks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if I want to reach my child during the school day?

We want our students to be engaged in their learning. Please refrain from contacting your student during the school day unless it is an emergency. Call the number above if there is an emergency.

What if there is an emergency?

In case of an emergency, we direct our students to safety first. School staff will be able to unlock a Yondr pouch in a matter of seconds for students once they are in a safe and secure location.

Will my student's phone be safe?

Students will possess their phone - in their Yondr pouch - for the entire school day. We will advise students to store the pouch in their backpacks where it is safe.

What if the Yondr pouch gets damaged?

The Yondr pouch is the property of School For Excellence. If a student damages or tampers with a Yondr pouch, they will be held responsible. The school will confiscate the student's phone until a parent guardian comes to the school to pick up their child's phone, and the school assigns a replacement pouch. The student will only be allowed to bring a phone back to school if they or their parent guardian pay a $20 fee to replace the damaged school property.

 Note: Damage consists of any signs that the physical integrity of the pouch is compromised, whether intentional or unintentional, as determined by the school or Yondr staff.

How can I clean my student's Yondr pouch?

In adherence to CDC guidelines, Yondr pouches can be washed in cold water for a short cycle and dried on a short cycle and or air-dried. You can also clean pouches with a disinfectant cleaner.

Student Cellphone Policy

Cellphones are not to be used during school hours. At the beginning of the school year, a personal Yondr Pouch will be assigned to all students with an ID Number, similar to being assigned textbooks. While the Yondr Pouch is considered school property, it is each student's responsibility to bring their pouch with them to school every day. 

 

Process

Building Entrance: As students enter the building, they will:

1) Turn their phone off.
2) Unlock the empty Yondr Pouch using an Unlocking Base at the Building Entrance(s).
3) Place their phone inside the pouch, securely close it, and store in their backpack.

Each student will maintain possession of their cellphone inside their Yondr Pouch for the duration of the school day. Students arriving late will go through this process at the Main Office.

Building Exit: As students exit the building at the end of the school day, they will:

1) Unlock their pouch using an Unlocking Base at a Building Exit(s).
2) Remove their phone from their pouch.
3) Securely close their empty pouch and place it in their backpack for the next day.

(Exception: excused absence for a doctor's appointment in which case the student will unlock their pouch at the main office)

 

Violations

Below is a list of potential student violations. Any of these violations will result in the confiscation of the student's phone and or pouch by the school administration.

1) Physical damage to the pouch in an attempt to circumvent its intended purpose. (Ex: Discoloration, pen marks, bent pin or stripped lock inside the pouch)
2) Forgetting or losing the pouch.
3) Using a phone during school hours.

 

Disciplinary Action

1) Confiscation of Phone+Pouch and immediate notification to the parent/guardian.
2) Student's parent/guardian must come to the school to pick up their child's phone, and the school may assign a replacement pouch. [AND OR] The student will only be allowed to bring a phone back to school if they or their parent/guardian pay a [$10] fee to replace the damaged school property.