Last fall, Richardson ISD rolled out a new program to test if locking up kids’ cell phones would help them stay focused in class without distractions.
The school used the Yondr Pouch — a secure pouch that all cell phones fit into that locks when it is closed. As students enter the classroom, their phone goes into a pouch and can only be unlocked using a special device when they leave the classroom.
Richardson ISD Superintendent Tabitha Branum said the data was clear and shows the district’s revamped cell phone-free policy worked well district-wide.
According to teacher feedback, 85% of teacher said they got more instructional time back with a cell-phone-free environment.
“It was one of the smoothest rollouts I’ve ever seen,” she said. “They wanted to sum it up that Yondr changed their lives.”
Branum says discipline issues and cyberbullying decreased, and student social interactions improved.
Now, more schools are wanting to try the Yondr Pouches, saying that while they do confiscate phones because of necessity, it was time consuming.
Initially, many parents were concerned about communicating with their children but a survey at Forest Meadows showed that 80% of parents support the cell phone-free environment.
Parents were able to communicate with their children by email during the school day or the front office.
The pouches cost $17 per students.
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