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Pinedale Online > News > April 2018 > SCSD 1 Considers Phone Free School Environments
SCSD 1 considers phone free school environments
by Jay Harnack, Superintendent, Sublette County School District 1
April 24, 2018

As more research emerges regarding the impact of smartphones on the lives of adults and teenagers, Sublette County School District 1 is considering a partnership with Yondr, a company that creates phone free learning environments for schools.

While smartphones have great utility, their use has increasingly become a source of distraction and conflict, both at home and in learning environments. In 2017, the University of Texas concluded that "the mere presence of cellphones reduces available cognitive capacity." In addition, inappropriate cell phone use is increasingly becoming a discipline issue for schools.

Schools that have implemented Yondr have noted significant improvements to school culture and climate. Allison Silvestri, principal for East Bay High School, said "The changes have already been profound...Kids are more focused and engaged during class, and student journals suggest the high schoolers are feeling less anxious and more relaxed." East Bay students also noted improvements in performance and the teachers noticed reductions in discipline referrals.

The way Yondr works is simple. When students come to school, they place their phones in an assigned Yondr cell phone pouch. The pouch locks and the student keeps their pouch with them. Students maintain possession of their cell-phones throughout the day, but they will not be able to use them until they are unlocked at the end of the day.

One of the more beneficial aspects of cell phones in the learning environment is their ability to provide assistance and communication during times of emergency. Each classroom and office would be equipped with an unlock station that would allow students to quickly unlock their phones in the event of an emergency.

SCSD 1 has successfully piloted the Yondr program at Skyline Academy and will be giving consideration to implementing the program in grades 6-12 its regularly scheduled meeting in May. The proposal is in alignment with the districtís current strategic plan, which includes a focus on increasing student engagement. If approved, full implementation would take place next year with possible field testing at PMS and PHS later this year as time allows.

More information on the how Yondr works can be accessed at

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  • - Sublette County School District #1, Pinedale, Wyoming
  • Pinedale Online > News > April 2018 > SCSD 1 Considers Phone Free School Environments

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