The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Get Smart and Attain A SmartPass For The Halls

The Smartpass logo.

Niles West is introducing a new pass system for students that will be implemented next year. SmartPass will be digitalized so that students can request passes on their phones or Chromebooks and once accepted by their teacher they are free to go with a five-minute timer. Security guards will know who is let out in the halls with the exact time they left and what class they are coming from. This is being implemented to reduce vandalism and disruptive behavior.

“The system tracks how many passes students use per day, where they are going, how long they are gone and how much total time they have spent outside of classes. We can also limit hall pass capabilities if needed. Our goal is to more closely monitor students’ time out of the classroom to ensure safety while also maximizing their time in class,” Dean David Hawk said.

Schools all around the country have been using SmartPass and Hawk believes it’s about time Niles West joined them. Around the school, the SmartPasses are already being used in some classes.

“We are currently piloting SmartPass with a group of teachers and the students in their classes. Before deciding whether or not we make this a school-wide procedure, we will gather and consider those students’ feedback. Their voices matter,” Hawk said.

Science teacher Jennifer Sipiera has been testing out the program with her classes and she’s personally a big fan of the SmartPass, instead of setting a timer for her students to go out, the program automatically starts one and tracks how long the student is out of class.

On the other hand, her students have mixed reactions to the new system.

“I have just noticed with my own students this year it’s a mixed reaction, those who don’t use passes very often are totally fine with it, and those who sometimes abuse the passes are not as fine with it cause they feel like they’re being tracked,” Sipiera said.

According to Sipiera, the SmartPasses will reach the level to create passes for students to go to the deans, counselors, social workers and even attend to medical needs.

Many students believe that the current system is working well and there is no need for change. Junior Ava Ursan is currently piloting the system in Sipiera’s class and sees it being more bothersome than effective.

“I don’t like the new pass system, I just feel like it adds an unnecessary extra step to use the bathroom, instead of just grabbing a pass and going you are now in a queue of people waiting for your request to get accepted,” Ursan said.

Hawk realized that kids will not like SmartPasses, however, he believes it is the most effective and secure way to allow students out into the hall.

“While we realize that some students may not like this added level of accountability, we hope that they remember that staff members are legally responsible for their safety and that this is our house. We all have the responsibility of keeping our house safe and inviting so that students are able to focus on learning and growing,” Hawk said.

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