University Academy
Charter High School

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Support Needed for "Off-and-Away" Electronic Device Policy

March 17, 2023 
Dear UACHS Family, 
We need your help! The overwhelming majority of incidents that occur at school or after school are caused by an exchange that occurred on a student's electronic device. Ringing cell phones disrupt classes and distract students who should be paying attention in class. Moreover, they have been used for cheating, bullying, inciting fights, and have been linked to poor academic performance because students are splitting their attention between a learning task and their phone. Research shows that 50% of teens feel addicted to mobile devices, 78% of teens check their devices at least hourly, and 72% feel the need to immediately respond to texts, messages on social media, and other notifications. This multitasking is harming academic performance and provoking negative behaviors. 
We began the year with the use of Yondr pouches whereby students put their phone in locked pouches upon arrival at school that were then unlocked at the end of the day. Many students have damaged and/or lost the pouches to get to their devices throughout the school day and are being heavily distracted by this usage. We will be introducing a new set of pouches for every student at the end of the month and need your support to ensure students comply with our no electronic device policy. 
In the interim all students must continue to comply with our "off and away" electronic device policy. Students may not walk around with a device in their hand or use it during the school day. Any student seen with a phone will be asked to shut it off and put it away. Failure to comply will result in device confiscation and parent notification. Repeat offenders will be asked to have a parent pick up the confiscated phone. 
I understand and can appreciate that we want our children to have their phones for safety reasons but upon arrival to school the phones should be off or in airplane mode and be put away. If you ever need to speak to your child during the school day or your child needs to speak with you, we will be more than happy to connect you both via a school phone. 
Thank you for your continued support as we try to disengage students from their electronic devices to minimize at-risk behaviors and increase their academic achievement! 
Yours in education,     
Mr. Erie Lugo, Principal