When teachers at Chicopee High School approached her, they asked her to do something about the distraction of cell phones in the classroom, so she called on Yondr. “We’ve had a lot of positive interactions, not all positive, but a lot of positives,” Principal Kruser told us. “I had another teacher come down and say kids were doing work who would have never done work before.” With the help of the California-based technology company, students received magnetic locking pouches to stash away their phones during the school day. We went to Chicopee High School ourselves to see the pilot program in action.
It has been over a month since Chicopee High School students were given magnetic locking cell phone pouches to use while on campus. We spoke with Chicopee High School Principal Carol Kruser before she gave an update on the pilot programme at the school committee meeting on Wednesday night. She stated that, while it is too early to declare it a success or failure, she is pleased with what she has seen thus far. “The teachers are reporting that the kids are more attentive in class, even from the second day,” Principal Kruser said.
“Honestly, you see a lot more people paying attention and a lot more class participation, I will say,” sophomore Deven Macy told us. Macy said that after four full weeks, he has already seen the positive effects. However, not everyone was on board. “There’s just a lot of students,” said sophomore Wyatt Kasulinous. “They have a lot of different ways to get around it, so they just spent all this money on all these pouches.” The two-year initiative carries a price tag of over $16,000. Principal Kruser told us that ironing out the logistics has been easier than expected thanks to the hard work of her staff.
Principal Kruser said other school districts here in Massachusetts and out of state, including Virginia and New York, have reached out asking about the Yondr pouches. She will be providing an update and reading statements from students on the program at Wednesday night’s school committee meeting, which will be underway at 6:30 p.m.