Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch Implementation

We have four effective implementation strategies. The Frequently Asked Questions and Answers section covers our more proactive and positive implementation strategy, where students take responsibility for their pouches and bring them to school daily

What is a Multi-tiered Safe Pouch?

A Multi-tiered Safe Pouch is an eco-friendly, premium pouch that stores individual phones, smartwatches, earbuds, or other medium-sized items. Different tiers of pouches use different specialized tiers’ magnets to unlock. All pouches have three access holes for control, such as answering or making calls using voice commands.

What are the responsibilities of students regarding their Safe Pouch?

Every student is assigned a Tier 1 Blue Safe Pouch, which they are expected to bring to school and take home daily. This Safe Pouch remains the school’s property and is loaned to students for the duration of the school year. Students must take full responsibility for their assigned pouches at all times, ensuring they are kept in good condition. In cases of damage or vandalism, students will be responsible for covering the cost of repair services, priced at $5, or replacement of the pouch, which costs $15.

How is the process for student arrival and dismissal managed at the school?

Upon entering school, students will turn off their phones and smartwatches. A designated staff will verify and lock up students’ phones, smartwatches, and earbuds. WARNING: Students who tampered with or damaged their pouches may cause the pin to get stuck. Those students must go to the Main Office to use a specialized tool to remove the students’ devices, and the students need to pay for repair services.

  1. All first-period teachers double-check the pouches, making sure ALL Students Must Have a “good” Pouch. Teachers refer students to the Main Office if they don’t have a “good” Pouch.
  2. Students without their pouches or who have broken pouches need to check out Tier 2 pouches from the Main Office, or their phones will be kept at the Main Office until students pick them up after school.
  3. For students without a phone, their parents fill out a verification form to lock up earbuds and other items, or they may get a parent call for verification.
  4. Students with documented medical needs will have unlockable and hidden labeled pouches.

Students with Tier 2 Orange Pouches must wait in line after school at the Main Office and may have to answer reflection questions to unlock them with a Specialized Tier 2 Magnet.

All present students must have good, working, and locked pouches, or the students will be responsible for any damages, vandalism, or loss of pouches. It should be in the same condition when they pick them up in the morning.

What if a student refuses to lock up their devices inside a Safe Pouch?

Parents will be notified immediately. If the student fails to comply, the student will be denied entry (not suspended by the designee/principal until students choose to comply.

Why do some students lock their devices in Tier 2 Safe Pouches?

Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch is a positive alternative to punitive consequences, such as phone confiscation, suspensions, detention, etc. Students who will use the Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch are those who:

  1. Forgot, lost, or damaged their assigned Tier 1 Blue Safe Pouches.
  2. Had their devices out in school without the staff’s permission and supervision.
  3. Tardy to school or their classes without excuses from a staff.
  4. Engaged in cyberbullying, bullying, pre-fights, and fights.
  5. Willfully being defiant to staff.
  6. Disrupted learning activities or other school activities.

What if a student forgot their Safe Pouch or had a broken Safe Pouch?

Students can borrow a Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch for the day by completing a Post-It Form and submitting it with their student ID. This will be exchanged for the Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch. Students will get their IDs back when they return the loaned pouches at the Main Office after school. This solution is more favorable than keeping students’ devices at the Main Office.

Will the student’s phone be safe?

Students’ phones, devices, or items will never leave the possession of the students.

What if students claimed that they didn’t have a phone?

Students must provide a written note from their parents or guardians and present it to the designated staff member to obtain permission to lock away additional devices, such as smartwatches, earbuds, or other distracting items and toys. If students do not possess any such items, they may choose to lock away another item. Students who do not have a written note may get a parent call for confirmation.

What if students use their phones as personal devices for medical needs or special education needs?

Students with documented medical conditions or special education needs and who need their phone for medical or educational uses will be provided with a Tier 1 Blue SAfe Pouch, a particular label hidden inside with no pin, so it is not lockable. However, it is close using a Velcro. Those students must keep their devices in their pouches and backpacks at all times when it is not used for medical or special education needs.

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

We understand that emergencies will occur. Parents/guardians may contact the Main Office to speak with their child. Also, most, if not all, classrooms have Tier 1 Magnet to unlock the pouch to provide further accommodation.

What if a student needs to reach their parents during the school day?

We recognize that emergencies can arise. In such cases, a student may request their teacher to unlock the door during passing periods to access necessary accommodations. The student must hand over their ID to the staff while receiving the accommodations and will receive their ID back afterward. Following this, the staff will relock the student’s devices.

What if a student needs to leave the school before regular dismissal?

If a student needs to leave school early for reasons such as approved dismissal, family emergencies, school activities, school-sponsored trips, or athletic events, they should request a staff member to unlock their Safe Pouch before departure. Upon returning to school during school hours, students are required to ask a designated staff member to lock up their devices again as they re-enter the school campus.

What if a student does not comply, damages the pouches, or brings a magnet to school?

Students caught having an unlocked pouch, causing damage to the pouches, or using alternate devices or phones will be subject to disciplinary action, including Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouches and confiscating devices.

What if a student does not comply, damages the pouches, or brings a magnet to school?

Students caught having an unlocked pouch, causing damage to the pouches, or using alternate devices or phones will be subject to disciplinary action, including locking up their devices in Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouches and confiscating devices to be picked up by the student’s parents.

What if a student needs to call 911 while at school?

Every classroom is equipped with a phone that can dial 911. Furthermore, almost all classrooms have Tier 1 Magnet to unlock any Tier 1 Blue Safe Pouch. Students with Tier 2 Orange Safe can also ask other students to dial 911.

What happens if there is an emergency at school?

Every classroom is equipped with a phone that can dial 911. Furthermore, almost all classrooms have Tier 1 Magnet to unlock any Tier 1 Blue Safe Pouch. Students with Tier 2 Orange Safe can also ask other students to dial 911. All staff is trained to execute safety and emergency procedures. Students and staff will follow the school’s procedures in case of an emergency. Furthermore, the school will communicate with parents through the district’s mass communication tools or services. Most importantly, all classrooms have a portable Tier 1 Magnet to unlock any Tier 1 Safe Pouch quickly.

Will each teacher be able to unlock the pouches in the event of an active shooter, natural disaster, school-wide emergency, or other similar emergencies?

All classroom teachers are equipped with a mobile Tier 1 Magnet to unlock any Tier 1 Blue Safe Pouches. In exceptional circumstances, the few students with Tier 2 Safe Pouches may use scissors to cut the side thread of the pouch in order to remove their devices, but only if they do not have any other means of communication.

What if a student forgets to unlock the pouch before leaving the school? Is there a Magnet outside the school?

Magnets for unlocking the pouches will not be available outside the school. Students must return to the school before closing hours to have their pouches unlocked by staff at the Main Office. If it is after school hours, students will need to wait until the next school day. In the meantime, students can still charge and operate their phones through the three access holes in the pouch.

What if a student forgets to unlock the pouch before leaving the school? Is there a Magnet outside the school?

Magnets for unlocking the pouches will not be available outside the school. Students must return to the school before closing hours to have their pouches unlocked by staff at the Main Office. If it is after school hours, students will need to wait until the next school day. In the meantime, students can still charge and operate their phones through the three access holes in the pouch.

Do the Safe Pouches block cellular or Bluetooth signals or the internet?

No. We understand maintaining communication is essential to students’ safety.

How will students know whose Safe Pouch is whose?

Each Safe Pouch is labeled with Permanent Sharpie in large font before being checked out through the Library data system. Students will check out a Safe Pouch, like a textbook, at the beginning of the school year. Students must record the number of pouches in their planners. If students forget their numbers, they can double-check with a librarian. At the end of school, all students must return the pouches with the correct number.

What if a student’s pouch is stolen/lost/damaged/broken? Who is responsible for the repair service or replacement?

Ultimately, students are responsible for taking care of their assigned Safe Pouch. If a student intentionally vandalizes or damages the pouch, they will be required to pay $5 for repair services and may also face disciplinary action. If a student loses their pouch, they will be responsible for covering the replacement cost of $15.

Does requiring students to lock up their devices seem like a punishment for all students and unfair?

Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch is not a punitive measure. Educators and students also called it “Equity Pouch.”

Research and Evidence:

“The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) There is growing evidence that unrestricted use of smartphones by pupils at elementary and secondary schools during the schooldays interferes with the educational mission of the schools, lowers pupil performance, particularly among low-achieving pupils, promotes cyberbullying, and contributes to an increase in teenage anxiety, depression, and suicide.

(b) In September 2018, France adopted a nationwide smartphone ban in all primary and middle schools in order to promote pupil achievement and healthy social development.

(c) The London School of Economics and Political Science published a May 2015 study that found that test scores improved significantly at schools that banned mobile phone use, and that the most significant gains in pupil performance were made by the most disadvantaged and underachieving pupils. The study concluded that “schools could significantly reduce the education achievement gap by prohibiting mobile phone use in schools.”

(d) Dr. Jean Twenge, who is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, published a book in 2017 entitled “iGen,” which presents evidence of an increase in depression and suicide among American teenagers that may be caused by increased mobile device screen time and social media use. According to Dr. Twenge, 8th-grade pupils who spend 10 or more hours per week on social media are 56 percent more likely to describe themselves as unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Moreover, teenagers who spend three hours per day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to demonstrate risk factors for suicide, such as suicidal ideation, and teenagers who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to demonstrate a risk factor for suicide.”

(Source: Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB272)

Multi-tiered Safe Pouch provided a balanced solution between banning phones and accessing phones in schools. Furthermore, it helps create an Equitable, Safe, and Engaging learning environment for all students:

  1. Teachers, often overwhelmed, may feel compelled to allow students to use their phones, leading to disengagement from learning activities. The use of the pouch eliminates classroom distractions caused by mobile devices, thereby enhancing student participation in educational activities. This approach ensures that teachers do not have to compete for attention with the myriad distractions presented by students’ phones.”
  2. “Implementing the Safe Pouch fosters increased interaction among students, contributing to a stronger sense of community and the development of vital Social Emotional Learning skills. This enhanced engagement is crucial for building a supportive and collaborative learning environment.”
  3. “The pouch system plays a significant role in reducing instances of academic dishonesty, cyberbullying, bullying, school fights, and related issues. Restricting access to mobile devices removes the primary tool students might use for engaging in harmful or toxic discussions on social media, thus promoting a safer and more respectful school environment.

How much will the Mutli-Tiered Safe Pouch cost?

The cost of each Safe Pouch ranges from $13 to $17, making it an affordable and sustainable option as it involves a one-time purchase rather than an annual lease or subscription. Win Elements LLC, the provider of Safe Pouch, also offers low-cost repair services, ensuring the pouches can be used for many years.

Additionally, the numerous advantages of using Safe Pouch include enhancing student attendance and learning outcomes, thereby reducing the need for other less effective programs. It is estimated that a 1% increase in Average Daily Attendance (ADA) in a school with 1,000 students could enable the school to recover up to $100,000 annually. Therefore, Safe Pouch has the potential to generate additional revenue for schools year after year.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 103

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