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A Letter from Dr. Gurley about Cell Phones and Yondr

Posted Date: 8/18/23 (1:14 PM)

Dear Buford and CHS families –

We are excited to welcome you to school for open houses and the start of classes next week.

Thanks to a number of you for reaching out with questions or comments relating to our cell phone procedures. 

Off and Away The Entire Day at Start of School Year

I want to remind you that for the start of school, we will be using the policy of “off and away the entire day.” This means that a student’s phone, smart watch, headphones, or other personal devices need to be off and stored in a device such as a backpack during the entire school day. For students who don’t bring a backpack to school, the school will supply a container such as a pencil case.

Additional Listening and Learning about Yondr

I also want to clarify that before we begin using Yondr pouches, we will take time to get feedback, do additional research, answer questions, and make adjustments as needed. We know that students, families, and staff need to feel informed, confident, and supported for the implementation of Yondr to be a success.

Zoom This Sunday at 6pm

We will continue to hold informational and listening sessions so that we can continue to hear and address concerns about the cell phone policy. As a reminder, the next opportunity is a Zoom Q&A on Sunday, August 20, 6-7pm. Click here to register.

Next Steps

As we hear your specific questions, we will turn to Yondr and their longtime school clients to find what has worked well. For instance, one question I’ve heard from several people is, “What about a lockdown or sudden schedule change? How will my child text me?” We will pass along these questions to the Yondr team and to other communities that use Yondr to see how they have addressed these concerns.

Currently in Charlottesville–as around the country–we do not have consensus on a specific strategy for cell phones in schools. However, I am confident that we do have consensus on the larger and more important issues of safety, mental health, learning, and community. We will build on these values as we chart a path forward. 

In the meanwhile, remember: “Off and away the entire day”! Let’s disconnect from phones, and connect with our learning, one another, and our mental wellness.

Dr. G

Find pdf of the flyer here.