Take Action

Use our step-by-step instructions to help your middle school change their cell phone policy to "Away For The Day."

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They now have Power Down Thursday where students are not allowed to use their cell phones, technology on Thursdays. I love it! I wish they would make everyday at Power Down day.
— GAIL GOULD, PARENT, CORNERSTONE ACADEMY, HOUSTON, TX

Actions for Parents/
Guardians

3 Easy Steps

  1. Send this email to 5 (or 50) others. Build a coalition to support you by posting on social networks, newsletters, etc.

  2. Click here for a sample letter to send your principal. Be prepared with common push backs and evidence-based responses.

  3. Take it to the next level: start a petition, suggest these proven polices, and form an action group.

  4. Here are posters to use and download once you implement the Away For The Day policy.

I have been impressed with how well this has worked with many of our students. It has decreased the number of cell phone related incidents with my grade level.
— LUCAS LAUER, SCHOOL COUNSELOR, FREDERICK COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL, WINCHESTER, VA

Actions for Teachers /Counselors

Start a conversation

MEET WITH THE PRINCIPAL OR HEAD OF SCHOOL

Additional avenues for change

  • If your biggest advocate is your principal, great, you are probably good to go. If your principal is not receptive, gather support through other influencers like teachers, PTA members, parents, and the school board. Another way is to create a Change.org petition. Click here for an easy description of how it works and template we created for you to start a petition

  • Another way is to create a Change.org petition. Click here for an easy template we created for you to start a petition

  • Here are posters to use and download once you implement the Away For The Day policy.

Download as a PDF

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We adopted a no phone policy. Life has improved! Kids started talking to each other again!
— JEANE BORDERS, HEAD OF SCHOOL, CORNERSTONE PREP

Actions for Principals/Admin

Start A conversation with teachers and staff about new policy ideas

Clearly define the new policy

  • Phones off and away during school day

  • Click here for sample policies

  • Discuss in advance how exceptions will be handled—such as students who say they must use phones to listen to music to study. We caution being too lenient around this because teachers are seeing more students claiming this need. In middle school the goal is to help students be able to focus and study without music.

Offer a clear process of where phones are to go

  • Away in lockers or backpacks —lockers are the preferred choice but some schools do not have lockers

  • Central holding spot in advisor or homeroom classroom for the day

    • Bag or bucket in the classroom

    • Cell phone holders in classrooms (they look like hanging shoe organizer)

    • Have a sheet go home to parents explaining new policy. Then have an evening school wide meeting to discuss it. We highly recommend starting the meeting with a few short videos from schools that have changed. You can download and use any of ours on this page

    • If your school has not done so, ensure that parents and students know that the school is not responsible for the cell phone if gets stolen or lost, no matter where the phone was on the campus when lost. Students are always free not to take any risks and leave their phone at home.

Define specific consequences for using phones during the day

  • First infraction: take phone away/return at the end of the day

  • Second infraction: phone taken, parents notified, returned at the end of day

  • Third infraction: phone taken, must be picked up by a parent

  • Explore other consequences

  • Here are posters to use and download once you implement the Away For The Day policy.

Download as a PDF

Take the "Away For The Day" Pledge

Support middle schools policies that require students to put their cell phones away in lockers, backpacks or other places all day.

 

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