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At the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, using the knowledge that students perform better in classrooms without cell phones, the Academy of Holy Angels administrative team made some small but significant updates to an existing cell phone policy. The main update was that if students were using a cell phone during the school day, they had to bring it to the main office for their parents to pick up. The revised policy was shared with all students, faculty, staff and families with the hopes of virtually no cell phone usage during the school day (including lunch and passing time). Principal Foley said, "We are pleased to share that this updated policy has been very successful. We're grateful for the partnership we have with our parents and families that has been instrumental in this change."

It is not a surprise that teachers love the policy. Steve Werle, history teacher, shared, "The difference from last year is like night and day. The students are far more engaged during the school day. We can actively see conversations happening in the classroom, in the hallways, and in the lunch room."

Students have told teachers that they feel a sense of ‘freedom’ when they are not mentally tied to their phone during the school day. "I actually love it,” said Josh George, a senior and student body president. “It's one less distraction during class, and it allows me to focus better." Additionally, the admissions team has shared that many visiting families have noticed the cell-phone free culture and appreciate it.

There are countless studies showing increased productivity, attention, and performance in class. Studies have also found a 62% increase in note-taking during class, higher test scores, and more social interaction during class compared to classrooms where cell phones were allowed. 

Tim Wolfgram, assistant principal, added, "Removing the distraction of cell phones has allowed academics to be at the forefront of our students' days. Personally, hearing the laughter and conversations in the halls without needing a cell phone has been the best part about this policy change. It has been great to see students interacting with each other face-to-face. We applaud our students, parents, and teachers for helping us model the AHA Way and by being part of the solution.”

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