Cell Phone Policy
Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School will continue using a system called “Yondr” this year to improve teaching and learning by making our school a phone-free space.
We understand that cellphones have great utility, but cell phone use has increasingly become a source of distraction, anti-social behavior and conflict both at home and at school.
"According to a survey and report from Common Sense Media that involved 1,240 interviews with parents and their 12- to 18-year-old children, 50 percent of teens feel attached to their mobile devices, and 59 percent of their parents agree that their kids have a problem putting their devices down." - US News & World Report, 2016
Additionally, more and more studies are showing the ways cell phones interfere with a student’s academic success. In 2017, the University of Chicago concluded that “the mere presence of cellphones reduces available cognitive capacity.”
Our cell phone policy states that cell phones are to be kept off and out of sight in the school building. However, at our school, inappropriate cell phone use is one of the top discipline issues. It takes away student learning time and damages both peer relationships and student/staff relationships.
The way Yondr works is simple. When students arrive at school, they will place their phones in an assigned Yondr phone case. The case locks and the student keeps their case with them. Students maintain possession of their phones throughout the day, but they will not be able to use them until they are unlocked at the end of the day. (This process is pictured on the next page.)
In an effort to best serve your child, we are asking for your support in the adoption of Yondr to teach our students responsible phone use while at school. Yondr is already used by hundreds of middle and high schools, corporations and artists across the world to improve focus, production and the overall human experience of its users.
We want to assure families that you can reach your student as you have in the past, by calling the main office at 718-319-7270. We recommend adding this number to your contact list for easy access.
Thank you for supporting our school, and our students as we continue this initiative
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if I want to reach my student during the school day?
Answer: If at all possible, resist the urge to contact your student during the day. It is important for students to be able to focus on school while they are here. Even if a student doesn’t answer the text in class, there is research that shows thinking is disrupted by notifications and even just the presence of the phone on a desk. Learning to schedule activities and plan ahead are skills that our students need to develop. Of course, sometimes, it can’t be helped. In most cases, you can contact the Main Office 718-860-2707 to relay messages to your student when action needs to be taken during the school day.
- What if there is an emergency?
Answer: In an emergency, please call the Main Office right away. That is the best way to get in touch with your child. There are many instances when parents need to communicate information to students. Most of the time, students are unable to act on these issues until after school. In these cases, students can just read messages at the end of the day. If it is crucial that a student respond immediately, students can unlock cases in the Main Office with permission from an administrator. In the case of an emergency, such as an earthquake, administrators have devices that can unlock the Yondr cases quickly.
- Will my student’s phone be safe?
Answer: It will be as safe as before the change, as your student will be in possession of his/her phone all day. Students may opt to have their phone locked up for the day if they do not want to carry it around.
- What if the case gets damaged?
Answer: The case is a school issued supply, just like textbooks. It is free to use, but the student is responsible to pay $25 in the event of damage or loss.
- Phone held for day locked in a secure location.
- Phone call home to inform parents that during the next infraction they will be required to come to school to pick up the device.
- Meeting to develop Phone Plan Agreements with point persons, advisor AND parent
- Parent must pick up device.
- Parent must continue to pick up device each subsequent time.
- In person family meeting at school or a home visit.