What are Yondr pouches and why are schools using them?

(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A Colorado Springs high school is now the first to implement a cell phone-free policy using Yondr pouches in El Paso County.

According to Eastlake High School, which is located in the 1800 block of Eastlake Boulevard near Memorial Park, the decision to use the Yondr program stems from its commitment to providing a distraction-free learning environment.

“Yondr pouches have been widely recognized for their effectiveness in minimizing distractions and promoting mindfulness in various settings, from concerts and events to educational institutions,” said Cassandra Berry, Principal of Eastlake High School. “With the introduction of this technology, Eastlake High School sets a precedent for prioritizing student well-being and creating a conducive learning environment conducive to academic success.”

How do Yondr pouches work?

A letter sent to parents by the high school further described what Yondr is and how it works. Essentially students are given a Yondr pouch to hold their phones which can only be unlocked when they leave school by tapping their pouches on an unlocking base.

What are Yondr pouches and why are schools using them?
Courtesy: Eastlake High School, photo shows a demo of how the Yondr pouch works.

“The Yondr Education Program utilizes a simple, secure pouch that stores a phone,” according to the letter. “Every student will secure their phone in a personally assigned Yondr pouch when they arrive at school. Students will maintain possession of their phones and will not use them until their pouches are opened at the end of the school day.”

Eastlake officially began using the Yondr program on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

“By temporarily securing students’ cell phones in Yondr pouches during school hours, Eastlake High School aims to eliminate disruptions in the classroom, enhance focus, and encourage meaningful interactions among peers,” Berry said.

The letter to parents also addressed how the school would handle various situations with the pouches including if students are caught on their phones or if the pouches are damaged, along with how emergencies would be handled.

“The Yondr pouch is property of Eastlake High School. If a student damages their Pouch or is caught on their phone, Administration will collect the phone/Pouch and call home,” wrote the letter. The school explained that if the pouch is damaged, the student will need to complete community service, and if they are caught on their phones, a parent will need to go to the school and pick up the phone.

“In case of a school emergency, we direct our students to safety first, following our school emergency preparedness protocol,” according to the letter.

To learn more about the program or read the full communication to parents, click on the links above.

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