More Schools in Hudson Valley, New York Now ‘Phone-Free’ Spaces
More schools in the Hudson Valley are issuing a no cellphone policy for students.
On Tuesday, the Temple Hill Academy let parents know the school will be banning students from using phones inside the school for the upcoming school year.
"During the 2022-2023 school year, Temple Hill will be implementing a new program called Yondr for cell phones," the Temple Hill Academy PTO wrote on Facebook.
School in Newburgh, New York School District Bans Phones
Temple Hill Academy is a school that teaches students from kindergarten through the 8th grade. It's located at 525 Union Avenue in New Windsor, New York.
"We will be making our school a phone-free space to improve teaching and learning," Temple Hill Academy Principal Ventura Lopez told parents in a letter. "We believe that phones have great utility. We have also found that learning and social behavior improve drastically when students are fully engaged with their teachers and classmates.
Temple Hill Academy In Orange County, New York Becoming 'Phone-Free Space'
To become a "phone-free space," Temple Hill Academy will use a system called Yondr. Over 1,000 schools across 21 countries use Yonder to "facilitate an engaged learning environment," school officials say.
How Yondr Will Work in New York Schools
When students enter the school they will place their cellphone into their assigned Yondr pouch. This pouch is said to be closed and secure.
Each student will keep their pouch throughout the day. Then when students leave for the day, each student will tap their Yonder pouch to an unlocking base that will unlock the phone from its Yondr pouch.
"Students will maintain possession of their phones and will not use them until their pouches are opened at the end of the school day," Lopez told parents. "Students are required to bring their Yondr pouch to and from school each day and are responsible for their pouch at all times."
Yondr polled over 900 schools that use the Yondr system and found:
- 83 percent of schools noticed an improvement in student engagement in the classroom.
- 74 percent of schools pointed towards an improvement in student behavior
- 65 percent of schools noticed an improvement in academic performance
Many Parents Outraged By New Windsor, New York Schools Decision
Many parents took to Facebook to voice their concerns about the new system
"I want access to my child in case of an emergency. I don’t want to wait to go through the switchboard at school. And occasionally it’s just for stuff that a simple text can cover like I can’t pick you up today but look for Grandma’s car. Not to mention the kids who have no one to hang out with at lunch… at least their phones give them something to do," one parent wrote on Facebook.
Parents with any questions are told to call the school directly at 845-568-6450. Or they can voice concerns at the school's Back to School night on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m.
Middletown, New York Schools Set Strict 'No Cell Phone' Policy for 2022-2023 School Year
It's unclear if any other school in Newburgh will ban students from using cell phones. However, a few days before Temple Hill Academy announced its "phone-free space" plan one local school district announced a no cellphone policy.
The Enlarged City School District of Middletown, New York announce all students through the school district won't be allowed to use their cellphones during the school day.
"Cell phones must be turned off and put away during the school day. Scholars may only access their cell phones prior to the start of the school day and then again after the school day ends. Scholars will not have access to their cell phones at any point during the school day (this includes study hall and lunch periods) "Any scholar who violates these expectations will be held accountable to the District Code of Conduct," Enlarged City School District of Middletown Superintendent Amy Creeden said in a letter to parents.