Phone & Watch Policy
The well-being and safety of students is at the forefront of everything we do at Ivy Hall. One day when your students enter the world, we imagine a future where they are leaders who contribute to their communities, who find joy as they serve others and build a beautiful life for themselves. There is only so much time in a day, and how we use that time to learn, grow, and connect with those around us requires a lot of intention.
Kids and parents want to be able to communicate at times during the school day
It’s so convenient to be able to call home for a missing lunch or forgotten permission slip (once a year!!). Given the violent and tragic attacks on schools and in public places, we want to be able to be in contact with even our youngest children.
The digital world is still fairly new, but we can see the harm that comes from not forming healthy tech habits from an early age. When we are always looking down, we cannot see the relationships and possibilities before us.
The Surgeon General released a rare public health advisory last December. Take a look at the threats that come from screen time overuse and how children are targeted by predators. Ivy Hall is committed to empowering our students to have a healthy life-tech balance.
Social Media and gaming expose children to bullying, contribute to obesity and eating disorders, trade off with sleep, encourage children to negatively compare themselves to others, and lead to depression, anxiety, and self-harm (Office of the Surgeon General, 2021, p. 25).
The FBI estimates that there are over 500,000 sexual predators online every day, each with multiple profiles. Only 43% of children were able to accurately identify a threat.
New Policy on Devices: Teaching “Tech in Steps” for Healthy Habits
To support parents in teaching “tech in steps,” Ivy Hall has decided to support a Gabb Wireless approved environment. Therefore, Pre-K-6th grade students who want to bring a device to school should use a Gabb Wireless watch or phone. We also strongly encourage students in grades 7-12 to choose a Gabb Phone Plus, but it is not required at this time. Students are not required to have a device, but we will be focusing on building healthy relationships with technology and a Gabb device allows children to safely practice these skills of digital citizenship and media literacy. We also want to add to what you do at home in teaching children the appropriate times to communicate.
After Gabb worked with our high school students in the Innovation Lab initiative, we came to know the company, their product, and their people and learned that offering families a way to stay protected and connected is at the heart of everything they do. Neither Ivy Hall, nor any employees will benefit financially from this decision. Get to know Gabb here and see all the research and solutions they have for families. Their devices have:
- No internet. No Social Media. No App store.
- Devices are $50. You are free to purchase any time.
- Families can choose from three products: Gabb Watch, Gabb Phone Plus, and the Gabb Phone, and can see plans and pricing for each.
- The Gabb Watch is recommended for ages 4-11, and kids absolutely love completing tasks assigned by Mom and Dad in order to earn coins to teach their watch pets neat tricks! We’ve heard many accounts of watch wearers asking for more chores!
- The Gabb Phone Plus is recommended for ages 10-18. It is a Samsung device with a great camera and a curated set of ever-expanding, kid-safe apps.
- The Gabb Phone is the basic model.
- Both phones support Gabb Music, a kid-safe music streaming platform.
Appreciation and Vision
We thank you for all you do to support your student’s learning and development. We are determined to make Ivy Hall the environment most conducive to growing into a leader, engaging in academics at a high level, and the pursuit of passion. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of our administrators.
Ivy Hall Academy Board of Directors