August 29, 2022

Middle Schools to Begin New Cell Phone Expectations Initiative

New Castle, DE- When students attending George Read, McCullough, and Gunning Bedford Middle Schools begin the school year starting August 29, 2022, families have been advised they will be met with new cell phone expectations. The Colonial School District is the first in Delaware to partner with YONDR® to help reinforce cell phone expectations aimed at improving the social, emotional, and academic well-being of students.

Students will be expected to keep their cell phones “out of sight” throughout the day.  As students enter school, they place their phones in YONDR Pouches.  The pouches are closed and secured, ensuring that students can keep them on their person all day.  At the end of the day, students open their pouches at one of many magnetic ‘unpouching station’ locations to release their phones.

“The research around the adverse effects of adolescent/teenage cell phone use is alarming and we really felt it was time to provide a phone-free environment for the emotional well-being of our students.” says George Read Principal Nicholas Wolfe.

Those students that need to contact their families will be permitted to do so from a number of offices throughout the schools and school personnel are ready to help connect parents with their students as needed.  Additionally, emergency-preparedness experts have advised that the best course of action is for students to follow the guidance of teachers, administrators, and first responders, rather than potentially be distracted by attempting to use a cell phone.

“This approach is intended to provide students with a sanctuary that alleviates the pressures of social media and is another strong step toward eliminating cyberbullying.  We firmly believe that over time, this approach will reduce the stress often associated with the over-use of social media by teens and reduce student and classroom distractions, while helping teach young people a measure of self-control,” says Division of Health & Wellness Director, Dr. Jon Cooper.

We realize students and their families will need some time to adjust to the new cell phone expectations and therefore would like to facilitate media interviews after Open Houses are held on Sept. 15th. Any immediate media inquiries should be directed to Public Information Officer, Lauren Wilson.