New system for Media Center, Learning Lab passes creates tension

Change proves to be controversial

Senior+Bennett+Kouame+uses+a+pair+of+goggles+as+a+pass+to+leave+the+room+during+Park+Connections+Oct.+19.+The+new+pass+system+has+made+contact+tracing+and+tracking+attendance+easier.

Tobias Khabie

Senior Bennett Kouame uses a pair of goggles as a pass to leave the room during Park Connections Oct. 19. The new pass system has made contact tracing and tracking attendance easier.

Sophia Curran-Moore

It can be difficult for teachers to make decisions for their students. Personal finance teacher Abigail Lugo said she likes the new pass system because it empowers students to make their own choices.

“It shouldn’t be in my control to say what you do with your bodies,” Lugo said. “I like that the new system takes the pressure off me, as a classroom teacher, to make those decisions.”

According to assistant principal Jessica Busse, students are encouraged to use the Student Support Time website to indicate their presence in the Media Center or Learning Lab during a study hall. Busse said this new system makes it easier to take attendance and contact-trace.

“Instead of signing in and out of your study hall, we’re using the Student Support Time app … It’s easier to take attendance that way,” Busse said. “The only thing that we’re using the Student Support app for right now is the Media Center and the Learning Lab, and that’s just because those spaces are commonly used, and we don’t want them to overfill, and we need contact-tracing.”

According to senior Isabel Wright, the new system is more safe in terms of COVID-19, but it’s unneeded.

“It’s more effective with controlling where people are with COVID and stuff, but it’s really unnecessary,” Wright said. “It’s a whole lot more steps than we need to do.”

It would be better with either just a regular pass, or signing in and out on a paper sheet, instead of having to go through extra steps.”

— Isabel Wright

According to senior Amara Davenport, she dislikes the system, and some teachers are modifying it to make it easier for students.

“I don’t really like the system … I personally didn’t see anything wrong with the previous system,” Davenport said. “Some teachers are following the new system to full effect and others are arranging it to seem more reasonable with the students.”

Wright said that the lack of Wi-Fi for personal devices makes accessing the Student Support Time website inconvenient, and paper passes are a better option.

“Instead of Student Support Time, it would be better with either just a regular pass, or signing in and out on a paper sheet, instead of having to go through extra steps,” Wright said. “Since we don’t have Wi-Fi, we have to get our chromebooks out,” Wright said.

Lugo said she believes all teachers should encourage students to use the new system to change the norm at Park.

“I follow (the system) because I expect my peers and my coworkers to do the same. I also have to do the same in order for it to work and to change culture here at the school,” Lugo said. “I’m a rule-follower.”