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Chicopee principal provides update on use of magnetic locking cell phone pouches

We spoke with Chicopee High School Principal Carol Kruser before she provided an update on the pilot program at Wednesday night’s school committee meeting.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - It has been over a month since students at Chicopee High School received magnetic locking cell phone pouches to use while in the building.

We spoke with Chicopee High School Principal Carol Kruser before she provided an update on the pilot program at Wednesday night’s school committee meeting. She said that while it is too early to call it a success or failure, she likes what she has seen so far.

“The teachers are reporting, even from the second day, the kids are more attentive in class, engagement was up in class,” Principal Kruser told us.

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.

“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.

“It’s working out well, you just have to stay on top of it,” she said, “so you have to make sure that we’re out there right at 2:08, we’re out there at 7:10.”

Even students who are on the fence can see the long-term benefits of continuing the program.

“Would I want to personally? No, but for the school, would it be the best decision? Probably,” Macy said.

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.