Student Cell Phone & Smart Watch Guidelines

Cell phones and smart watches are not to be used during school. Every middle and upper school student is assigned a personal Yondr pouch. While the Yondr pouch is considered school property, it is each student’s responsibility to bring their pouch with them to school every day and keep it in good working condition. 

Daily Process

As students arrive to school, they will: 

  1. Turn their phone off or place in airplane mode.
  2. Place their phone and any smart watch, if applicable, inside their pouch and secure it.
  3. Store their pouch in their backpack for the day.
  4. B1 and C1 teachers will check pouches to ensure they are secured.

At the end of the day, students will go to one of the designated exits to unlock and open their pouch, remove their phone, and put their pouch in their backpack. Students must bring their pouch to school with them each day.

Students arriving late or leaving early will pouch/unpouch their phones in the Student Services office.


  • What is the reason for this policy?

    Cell phone and social media use by teens has been shown to have a negative impact on learning and mental health. After implementing the Yondr pouch program, 94% of teachers identified more teaching
    and learning time in their classrooms. For more information on the mental and educational impact of cell phones on teens, click here.

  • How will students know whose Yondr pouch is whose?

    When the pouches are distributed, each student will be required to put their name on their pouch as it is handed to them. Students will keep their pouches with them at all times.

  • What if a student forgets their pouch?

    If a student forgets their pouch, they must take their phone to Student Services before the start of school. Their phone will be kept in the office for the day, and a principal will make contact with the parent to remind them of the policy. The phone will be returned to the student at dismissal. If a student consistently forgets their pouch, disciplinary action may be taken and a new Pouch must be purchased.

  • If a student forgets to unlock the pouch before leaving the building, is there a way for them to unlock the pouch (i.e. an unlock station outside the school building)?

    There will not be an unlocking station outside the building. If a student forgets to unlock their pouch, they will be able to return to school before 6:00 p.m. to unlock their phone in the lower school entrance/ride waiting pick-up area.

  • What are the consequences for a student who fails to place a device in their school-issued pouch?

    1st Offense: The device will be confiscated, and the student will receive a Level 1 disciplinary infraction and serve a detention. A parent must pick up the device and meet with the school principal.

    2nd Offense: The device will be confiscated, and the student will receive a Level 2 disciplinary infraction. If the infraction occurs before P1, the student will be sent home immediately and receive an unexcused absence for the day. If the infraction occurs during P1 or later, the student will not be allowed to come to school the next day and will receive an unexcused absence. Students may not participate in extracurricular activities or return to school until a parent meeting with an administrator has occurred.

    3rd Offense: The device will be confiscated, and the student will receive a Level 3 disciplinary infraction. The student will be suspended for three days, and the student will not be able to return to school until a parent meeting with an administrator has occurred.

  • What are the consequences for damaging, tampering with, or losing the school-issued pouch?

    These school-issued pouches are property of Harding Academy. If a pouch is lost, a replacement can be purchased for $50. If a student has damaged or tampered with the school-issued pouch, a Level 2 disciplinary infraction will be assigned and a new pouch must be purchased.

    Examples of damage:
    • Deep scratches on the globe and on the green ring around it
    • Intentional pen marks on the inside of the pouch
    • Bent pins
    • Pin and button not fully recessing, due to pin damage

  • What if a parent or guardian needs to reach their child during the school day?

    We understand that emergencies will occur. Parents may contact the main office at (901) 767-4494 to speak with their child if the need arises. Also, students are able to receive email and have access to their iPads throughout the day. Parents can email their students directly in addition to calling the school when time is of the essence.

  • What happens if there is a school emergency?

    Our staff is trained to execute safety and emergency procedures. We will direct students to safety first. Students and staff will follow our school’s emergency preparedness protocols. Communication with parents will occur through the school’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.