WJSHS Yondr – Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Yondr pouch?

The Yondr pouch is a secure bag that is used to store an individual’s mobile device or devices. It is secured and unlocked with a special locking device.

How does it work?

Diagram explanation of how the Yondr pouch works

  1. As students enter school, they place their phone in their assigned Yondr pouch.
  2. Students close and secure their Yondr pouch to keep it with them throughout the day.
  3. When leaving school, students tap their Yondr pouch on a base unit to unlock it and retrieve their phone.  

Why is the school introducing Yondr pouches?

The junior/senior high school is seeking to limit distractions in the classroom and improve overall student engagement, mental health and well-being.

How will students receive a Yondr pouch?

In September, all students in grades 6-12 will be assigned a Yondr pouch to secure their phone, smartwatch, and/or earbuds. The pouch is the property of the school and is considered on loan to the student during the school year. Students are responsible for the Yondr pouch at all times and for bringing the pouch to and from school each day.

How will the process work at arrival and dismissal?

Upon entering school, students will turn off their phone, place the phone inside of the Yondr pouch, and lock it in front of staff. The pouch will be unlocked at the end of the school day in the main lobby area and/or at the attendance window.

Will my student’s phone be safe?

Students are in possession of their phone – in their Yondr pouch – for the entire school day. We will advise students to store the pouch in their backpacks and lockers where it is completely safe.

What if a student needs to leave the building before dismissal?

If a student needs to leave school early for an approved early dismissal, medical emergency, athletic event, or school sponsored trip, students will be able to unlock their pouches at school prior to their departure. If returning to school during the instructional day, the Yondr pouch would be locked upon re-entry to the building.

What if a parent/guardian wants to reach their child during the school day?

We want our students to be engaged in their learning, but we understand that emergencies will occur. If you need to contact your child during the school day, call the main office or the attendance office at 518-629-3300. There are phones in every classroom and office in the school. In addition, all students have access to their Chromebooks throughout the day. Parents can email their students directly in addition to calling the school.

What if there is a school emergency?

Every location in the school is equipped with a phone that can dial 911. Our staff is trained to execute safety and emergency procedures. We will direct students to safety first. Students and staff follow our school’s emergency preparedness protocols. Communication with parents will occur through the district’s mass notification and communication tools.

During lockdowns, students and staff are instructed to be silent. The response action guidelines outlined in the building-level safety plan will be followed with community notification for all emergency situations.

What if the Yondr pouch gets damaged or a student is caught on their phone?

The Yondr pouch is property of the school. If a student damages their pouch or is caught on their phone, they will be subject to disciplinary action. An administrator will collect the phone/pouch and call home:

  • The parent/guardian will come to the school and pick up their child’s phone and/or
  • Consequences may include: community service / detention / in-school suspension

Note: Damage consists of any signs that the physical integrity of the pouch has been compromised, whether intentional or unintentional, as determined by the school or Yondr staff. If lost or damaged, replacement pouches can be purchased for $15.

What happens if a student doesn’t have their Yondr pouch?

The phone may be turned over to main office staff and secured in the school until the end of the school day or parents can be contacted to come to school and pick the phone up.

What if a student needs their personal device for a medical issue?

Students who have a documented medical condition and who need a personal device for monitoring their condition will be provided with an alternate Yondr pouch which has immediate access.

Why can’t the school just implement a zero-tolerance policy and allow students to keep their phones put away?

Students have demonstrated time and time again that they will not comply with simply putting their phones away. Enforcement of this becomes a burden of the classroom teachers when students do not comply and valuable instructional time is lost.

Will students still be able to listen to music?

Students will be able to use headphones with cords to connect to their Chromebooks. All Bluetooth devices, including AirPods, smartwatches and other headphones, must be stored in the Yondr pouch.

Will teachers follow the same cell-phone expectations?

All teachers and staff will be provided with alternate Yondr pouches. Teachers and staff will model responsible cell-phone use and not use their cell-phones in the presence of students during the instructional day.

What happens if a student forgets to unlock their pouch before leaving the building?

The school has many afterschool programs and athletic events. If the building is still open, students can return to unlock their pouch.

Can teachers have students use their personal devices for instructional purposes?

Teachers who request to have students use their phones for an instructional lesson will be able to borrow an unlocking device as needed.

Do the Yondr Pouches block cell signals or the internet?

The Yondr pouches do not clock cell signals or the internet. Students are expected to turn their devices off before putting them in their Yondr pouch.

Will the elementary school be using Yondr pouches?

No, cell phones or personal devices are not allowed at the elementary school. They must be kept at home, in a locker, or backpack throughout the instructional day.

What if I have additional questions?

The Yondr FAQs will be updated as the implementation begins. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school directly. Call 518-629-3300 or email the building principal jrichards@vlietschools.org