Family Resources » Cell Phone Policy

Cell Phone Policy

Hello Students & Families of TYWLS of East Harlem, 

We hope you and your family have had a relaxing and restful summer. As we prepare for this 2022-2023 school year, we would like to inform you about a significant change in our school’s cell phone policy. Students will be allowed to bring their cell phones to school; however, they will not be able to use them when in class or using the bathroom during class. At the beginning of each class, students will be required to put them in a clear, closed receptacle found on their table in each classroom. Phones must be silenced and airpods or headphones must be put away in their bags. Cell phones may be used before and after school, during transition to other classes, and during lunch. 

Why this change in school policy?

As you know, there has been a growing trend in cell phone usage by young adults and even us as adults. We have become dependent on our cell phones for reminders, information, ability to connect with loved ones, share pictures, games, and more. However, as adults we are able to disengage and recognize when to put away phones when appropriate. We have found in recent years, especially last year, that many young people struggle with the ability to do this. Therefore, this policy is intended to support students in their academic success, removing a major temptation and distraction, and promote face to face social interaction and collaborative learning. 

Can my child put their phone away in their pocket or bag?

We have tried this policy before but have ultimately found that a cell phone “put away” in a pocket, under a binder on a desk, or in a bag on the floor still provides too tempting a distraction. When it dings or buzzes, the mind of even the best of students wander away.

What if I need to contact my child?

As parents, we fully understand and agree with the need to be able to contact your child at any given time, given recent events in the past school year related to school safety. If a student needs to reach a parent during the day, they may go to the main office to call their parent. This also provides students with another opportunity to connect with our staff community. We have an incredible administrative staff that love to connect with and help our students.  

Accordingly to the Chancellor’s Regulations A-413, students are permitted to bring the following electronic devices to school: cell phones, tablets, iPads, and other similar computing devices. However, it is the Principal’s discretion to determine whether or not the above mentioned devices are allowed to be utilized in the classrooms and/or hallways. Students who use cell phones, and computing devices in violation of the Chancellor’s Regulations, DOE’s Discipline Code, the school’s policy will be subject to disciplinary action. During the instructional day, cell phones again will be placed in a clear, closed receptacle, unless told otherwise by the instructional classroom teacher for a brain break or an educational incentive. 

Parents, how can you help with the new policy?

We ask for your unified help with the new policy. Please prep your child this week to let them know of this new policy. Acknowledge their feelings that they may be upset about limited access to their phone but remind them this is to help them focus and prioritize learning. 

If you child does not adhere to the policy, the following consequence will take place:

  • the phone may be confiscated and given to the Dean.
  • If the phone is given to teacher without incident, it may be given back at the end of the day
  • If the situation escalates and the dean or administrator is called: 
  • Phone will be kept for 5 days or parent will have to pick it up
  • If in any case there is an emergency there’s a phone is the main office that can be used at any point of the day with permission

If a parent needs to reach their child during the day, we ask that you call the main office, 212-289-7593, or email [email protected] and we will relay the message to your child for you.

Thank you for your support in helping us minimize classroom disruptions and maximize student learning! 


The TYWLS Administration Team