Superintendent’s Corner – Dana Addis

A topic that is going to impact our school world during the 2024-25 school year is Student Cell Phones in Schools. This is not a Hudson City Schools topic; it is one that is coming from Columbus and the legislation which provides guidance and policy on topics that school districts and their communities are required to address. 

Many researchers have spent ample time and resources in studying this topic over the past decade, and some of the findings have made their way to lawmakers and those who believe a new approach would be beneficial to our school-aged students. The Department of Education and Workforce have established July 1, 2025, as a date that school districts are required to have a policy in place, but Hudson already does. 

Our NEOLA policy 5136 has served as a guideline for the governor’s new policy; however, additional material will continue to surface that districts, their students and their families will utilize to arrive at a final policy that will assist our students and their focus upon their school lives and not on their phones. The Department of Education and Workforce has released a site dedicated to this topic, and it can be found at This site offers a toolkit that includes model policy as well as material for administrators, families and school and district supports.

The website states the following: Studies show the rise of the use of cell phones contributes to several related harms in the daily lives of smartphone users, including social deprivation, sleep deprivation, and attention fragmentation. Please know that the district has not completed these studies, but we will be required to address the topic. As we embark on this journey, we are aware of the many spectrums of thought on this topic, so it will be important for us to listen and consider as we ultimately reach some final decisions.

At its core, we would like to begin the entire phase of this policy with our family and students having genuine and sincere conversations about separating their school lives from their phones.  Part of the reason this policy is occurring is because in some circles, students are asking for assistance with this part of their lives, and we find it very appropriate to offer that support. It’s summer, so there is no reason to worry about this yet. However, we want to be fair to our students and families and let them know that some potential changes are on the horizon. ∞

One of the biggest assets I believe we have in Hudson City Schools are the amount of student opportunities. From class electives to group trips throughout the U.S. and beyond, we provide students with experiences beyond the typical classroom settings that help them become college and career ready.

One of the amazing opportunities offered is our performing arts programs districtwide. From orchestra and band to choir and drama club, our students can express their artistic talents through a wide range of activities.

With the popularity of these programs, however, comes the need to expand and update our performing arts facilities. This is why we are launching the “Harmony: Performing Arts Project,” in partnership with the Hudson City Schools Foundation. The Harmony project will add an orchestra room to Hudson High School, renovate the band and choir rooms and update the auditorium to a state-of-the-art facility. This $5.5-million project will be a joint venture of both public and private funds.

When the orchestra program originally began years ago, it was a high school club with about 30 string musicians. Over the years, it has grown and now boasts almost 100 participants. When the “new” Hudson High School was built back in the early 1990s, an orchestra room was in the original plans. However, in order to stay within the financial parameters at that time, it had to be eliminated from the building project. 

Orchestra students practice daily on the auditorium stage and are in need of a more permanent space to rehearse and house instruments. In addition, renovations are needed for both the band and choir rooms, as well. Lastly, the auditorium, which is used by groups in and outside of the district, will undergo changes that include new seating and carpet, updated lighting and a new orchestra pit cover, scaffolding, and more.  

In the coming weeks and months, you will hear more about the Harmonyproject and see the renderings revealed as we move forward.  

With project donations will come the potential for naming rights, along with the immense satisfaction of ensuring that students in Hudson City Schools will have the proper facilities needed for years to come.

If you are interested in being a project donor or have additional questions about Harmony, please reach out to me at or 330-653-1216. ∞