PCP: Value of the new hallway passes

Park implements a controversial pass system
PCP: Value of the new hallway passes
The new digital pass system is going to fail

Last week Park introduced a new digital pass system that can track how many passes a student takes and for how long. They are testing it out in the last two months of school, which is interesting. I understand the idea of a new digital pass system. There are too many moving parts that teachers won’t be willing to do. Some teachers already struggle with just giving their students a pass, let alone going to their computers to accept their requests. The idea on the surface seems fantastic. It keeps kids out of the hallway, gives teachers data proof of students skipping class, and keeps kids accountable. However, I don’t think it’s going to go how it’s expected.

Starting, we have 1,424 students enrolled at Park. Looking at the Smartpass website it costs 2.50-5.00 dollars per student. That means that Park invested around 7,000 dollars in this new system. Just from personal knowledge and budget cuts, our school doesn’t have the money to be making risky investments like this new smart pass system. There are more beneficial resources for students that Park’s money could be spent on.

There are problems with the system. First, substitute teachers are not able to have access so they will not be able to use the pass system. One of the reasons I believe our school got Smartpass was because students were leaving class unannounced and just wandering the hallways. This happens most often when a sub has a class and doesn’t know all of the students so there will still be a problem even with the new system in place. Next, teachers won’t be able to quickly assign passes if they are lecturing. They aren’t going to stop a lesson to go and assign a pass. It then distracts the whole classroom. Lastly, they don’t allow enough time. Most of the time half of the bathrooms are closed and students have to go on adventures to find an open bathroom. That takes time and if they introduce punishments, students would be punished for looking for an open bathroom. This new system just doesn’t seem as efficient as the district wants it to be.

There is nothing huge that’s new with this system compared to the paper passes. Teachers know the students that are taking a long time and skip class with the passes. Students will still leave unannounced. The only thing now it does is give a four-minute timer which isn’t enough time. Then it’s impossible to figure out how to end it. It said I needed a code and by that time I had to get to my schoolwork. It finally ended on its own after about 20 minutes. Am I going to get punished for having a late pass now? Because that was kind of the whole point it seems for adopting this new system to see what students were taking long breaks during the day. I can bet that I will probably not get punished. Adding on, when I did take that pass when I walked around the halls I saw a ton of people roaming the hallways and I can bet they weren’t using Smart Pass. So what’s the point?

Getting people to go to class and staying out of the hallways starts with discipline and accountability. Our school lacks discipline and accountability when it comes to people skipping classes. This starts with the culture the teachers and administration set. I don’t know of any consequences for students skipping class, and I know that sometimes students just leave classes unannounced to roam the halls. That’s the first step to limiting people in the halls because people can still leave with the digital passes in place. There needs to be consequences put in place to assure that students are in class instead of the halls. That should have been the first step instead of a 7,000 dollar investment in a technology that replaces something we already have, paper passes.

New pass system is good for park

The new pass system will ultimately be good for Park as a whole. There are many factors that come into play with this pass system which makes it overall easier and safer for the school. The process of the pass is overall more efficient and quicker for both students and staff. The new pass system is fully digital and accessible straight from your computer which will save students more time and give them less of a hassle.

Keeping track of which students are supposed to be out and which aren’t will help out the school in many different ways. This is one way Park will be able to make the school safer and not have students roaming the halls when they aren’t supposed to be.

The pass system is easy to navigate as well. Students are able to login on their computer and just go to the app and request a pass. This is easier for the teachers and students and is less of a distraction during class. Instead you can just submit your pass and it makes a noise for the teacher and they just accept it.

The app is very straight forward on your computer and is very easy to use. There is a “no fly time” in the first and last ten minutes which shows you the exact time you can send a pass to the teacher. It also shows you the nearest bathroom that is open if that’s where you are going. The app allows you to search up your teacher’s name and the teacher you are going to instead of having to know the class room number.

It has also been proven that when a student shows up late to class or leaves early it can disrupt the flow of the class, distract other students, and impede learning. Students who are also late to class and leave early can miss out on a lot of the learning sessions. Students who are frequently tardy have lower GPAs and lower test scores and lower graduation rates. This system also prioritizes instructional time which saves teachers and class time to write passes instead they can just accept them and move on with their lecture. The pass system also keeps track of how long you have been out with the pass. This will help because it will make sure students don’t use the pass to go on their phone and goof off around the school. If the teacher feels like they took too long with the pass, they are able to report the student that used the pass for however long they were out. This is then sent to admin and the GLC’s (grade level counselor’s) which keeps this student in mind for future pass usage.

The new pass system is definitely going to make a more positive impact on our school. It’s all about convenience, efficiency and saving time. This will help Park become a safer school and be a lot more organized. Only time will tell if the new system helps overall but this new pass system will definitely benefit Park.

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