The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Initial reactions to using SmartPass

Student feedback and thoughts on downsides to new SmartPass system
Caedon Exsted
Junior Adam Rosvold makes a new SmartPass with biology teacher Katherine Quatrini. For the rest of the school year, Park will be using a new pass system.

This month, a new pass system has been put in place at Park. Instead of taking a physical pass to the bathroom or the nurse’s office, you would use an alternative to that: the SmartPass. SmartPass is an online pass you request to use on your computer, and a teacher will either accept or reject it. These passes are timed. You have a total of four minutes to use a bathroom pass; if you go over your teacher can see that, and other teachers are alerted as well. This system is being used at Park going forward.

English teacher Kelsey Hanson said she believes that during these early stages of using this new pass system, there will be a learning curve for both teachers and students. According to Hanson, a lot of frustration from students who are adjusting from the old pass system to now using SmartPass is noticeable.

“I think right now we’re in a learning curve, and there is going to be some frustration with change. Right now, generally, there’s some frustration specifically with students who are using SmartPass,” Hanson said. “I think some downsides are that it is really hard as a teacher to remember to end the pass and frequently that makes students’ passes overdue, which is not their fault, it’s mine. It’s really hard to (be) instructing and have to stop that in order to end a pass. For me, that’s the biggest downside of the whole thing.”

Junior Adam Rosvold said he believes that the SmartPass process is very inefficient and a distraction, as having to get the teacher’s attention can disrupt class time.

“It’s very inefficient having to take your computer out, especially if you’re not using your computer in classes,” Rosvold said. “It tends to be a distraction for students when they have to pull out their computer to make a pass, and then they have to (get the) teacher’s attention if he or she is teaching to be able to accept the pass, and it’s just a big process to go to the bathroom.”

Principal LaNisha Paddock said the main issue that most teachers are having with adapting to the new SmartPass system is remembering to finish passes for students when they are back from what they needed to do.

“You have to revise and gather feedback and figure out how to best serve everyone, including students and staff. I would say the biggest thing is just making sure that we ended the passes,” Paddock said. That’s what we’re working on as staff — making sure that when a student leaves and when they come back, we end their pass.”

Rosvold said he believes that the old system of using a physical pass to go to the bathroom or nurse was easier and practical. Being able to trust students with an actual pass is healthy and that being able to give students freedom to use the bathroom without being restricted by a 4 minute pass is age-appropriate.

“Taking a pass is a lot more efficient, but there are some drawbacks to taking a pass. People can just leave whenever, but I think that having a little bit more freedom and trusting students is a lot healthier,” Rosvald said. “Having these four-minute bathroom breaks is a little bit too restrictive of a student’s freedom at school. We should have a little bit more freedom and take a bathroom pass whenever we want without having to request it on a website.”

Paddock said the reason for this sudden, late change to a new system is to be able to test it out to see how it works, so that it can fully be used throughout the upcoming school year.

“(When) we would come into next year, we are ready to go full implementation with less of the revisions,” Paddock said. “We’ll collect feedback, and we’ll know better how to use it in the fall with all the staff. Rather than teaching people, (we) will just be reteaching and reviewing.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Roberto Alvarez
Roberto Alvarez, Echo Staffer
Hi, my name is Roberto Alvarez. I am 16 years old and I live in St. Louis Park, and I am in 10th grade. I have an older brother and have two dogs. I love hanging out with my friends and playing soccer. I want to capture immaculate pictures of sports teams and other activities and events at this high school and be a photographer.
Caedon Exsted
Caedon Exsted, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Caedon Exsted. I am a junior and this is my second year on Echo. I live in St. Louis Park with my parents, 5 siblings and 2 dogs. In my free time I enjoy hanging with friends and watching new shows on Netflix.

Comments (0)

The Echo intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet these standards. The Echo does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a name and valid email address submitted that are variable. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible. Please direct any further questions to [email protected].
All The Echo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *