Springfield school board OKs cell phone pouches for grades 7-12

About 3,000 students will have phones locked away to limit distractions.

Credit: Keith Srakocic

Credit: Keith Srakocic

Many Springfield City School District students will soon start having to use cell phone pouches during the day to prevent them from being distracted in the classroom.

The school board approved the purchase of Yondr Phone-Free pouches for the 2024-25 school year for $124,250, which will lock phones away from the student for the school day.

Many teachers and administrators believe cell phones in class can be a distraction to students, and some schools require students to lock them up, but others allow them at times to engage students during classroom instruction.

Springfield is the first local district to approve the use of Yondr pouches.

Students in grades seventh through 12, approximately 3,000 students, will use the pouches “to promote a focused and engaged learning environment by securing student’s phones during school hours,” said communications specialist Jenna Leinasars.

“Several research studies have shown that by eliminating cell phones form the classroom, students show improved academic performance including increased comprehension, mindfulness and decreased anxiety,” she said.

The Yondr Pouch keeps student’s phones inside a sealed pouch during the school day. When students arrive, they place their phone inside the pouch, which is then locked. Students keep possession of the pouch, and they can be opened at a magnetic unlocking base at the end of the day.

“Yondr’s mission is simple: alleviate the intrusion of personal technology to create vital, distraction-free experiences that enrich people’s lives,” according to its website.

More than 50 schools in Ohio and more than one million students in 21 countries use Yondr pouches. According to Yondr, 83% saw an improvement in student engagement in the classroom, 74% saw an improvement in student behavior, and 65% saw an improvement in academic preformance.

“The district considers this implementation to be ‘ahead of the game’ when it comes to proposed legislation relating to cellphones in schools, and is looking forward to the numerous benefits that this change will bring to our students and our classrooms,” Leinasars said.

Other school districts in Clark and Champaign counties require students to put their cellphones in lockers or bookbags during the day, or lets students use them at certain times, including Clark-Shawnee, Graham and Triad local schools. However, Global Impact STEM Academy has allowed phones since it opened.

Schools in Dayton and Fairborn also implemented the Yondr pouches.

Springfield district families should look for additional communication from the district regarding these as they prepare for the 2024-25 school year.

For more information on Yondr, visit www.overyondr.com.

About the Author