While educational tools have evolved dramatically over the years, the old paper hall pass has managed to stick around in spite of the introduction of digital hall passes. In fact, it’s hardly changed at all in decades.
It’s possible that paper hall passes persist because they work perfectly fine as is. If they’re not broken, why fix them, right?
But you wouldn’t be reading this article if you really believed that. The paper waste alone is reason enough to question the efficiency and effectiveness of old school hall passes. And there are at least five other good reasons to consider making the move to digital.
Read on to learn how K-12 schools are benefiting from digital hall passes.
1. Gain Greater Visibility and Control of Student Movement
A digital hall pass provides reliable and easily accessible information about hall pass usage in real time. You can know which students are currently using hall passes, including their intended destinations, and for what reasons. For example, you can know how many students may be in the bathrooms (or other popular meetup locations) at any given time.
Advanced digital hall pass features, like those available with Securly Pass, also provide unprecedented control of student movement. You can limit the total number of passes in use, as well as the number of passes that can be issued for a specific destination. To thwart “frequent flyers” from abusing hall passes, you can limit the number of hall passes a student can be issued in a given day. You can even restrict two or more students from having hall passes at the same time to enforce no-contact orders.
“We love Pass!
It lets us know where every kid is when they are out of the classroom.
It’s really easy to use in the classroom, too.”
Dr. Don Amon, Assistant Principal, Cushing Middle School
2. Digital Hall Passes Minimize Risky Student Behaviors
A digital hall pass system provides the data needed to analyze student movement and identify student behavior trends at the school, grade, and individual level. You can more easily determine if frequent pass usage correlates to other issues, such as poor academic performance or conduct violations, so quick and appropriate action can be taken.
Suppose behavioral issues need to be addressed with a student’s family. With the data collected by a digital hall pass system, you can produce a reliable record of hall pass usage to back up your concerns or justify disciplinary actions.
Reliable records of hall pass usage also help you identify the students who were using hall passes at any given time. If an incident occurs, such as an act of bathroom vandalism or a report of students vaping during school, this data can help you identify which students may have been involved.
“When I asked our middle school principals for feedback about the Pass digital hall pass system, they said the first thing they noticed was an impact on the destructive behavior in school bathrooms. That behavior immediately started to turn for the better after we implemented Pass.”
Jaime Arnts, Supervisor of Education Technology, Easton Area School District
The ability to impose restrictions on hall pass usage, while no guarantee that undesirable behaviors won’t occur, also sets clear expectations about conduct and reinforces student ownership and accountability for their behavior. These measures alone often result in better student decision-making.
3. Improve School Safety
In an emergency, such as a fire or a lockdown, digital hall passes provide vital information about the number of students who are in classrooms or elsewhere. With this information at your fingertips, you can more quickly and accurately locate and account for all students.
Digital hall passes can also indirectly enhance safety by minimizing issues like vaping. Traditional responses to student vaping, such as locking bathrooms, can create new safety concerns. Digital hall passes allow you to monitor bathroom usage without having to take unnecessary and risky measures.
“Pass is a product that I honestly don’t know how we would function without. It provides tools that allow our teachers and admin team to monitor our building effectively, increase our safety, have accurate data for decision-making, and have our pulse on movement throughout the building at a moment’s notice.”
Stacie Kegley, Instructional Coach, Ballyshannon Middle School
4. Digital Hall Passes Improve Academic Performance
As schools struggle to overcome learning loss, quality instructional time in the classroom is critical. Regardless of their cause, interruptions during class have a negative impact on students’ performance. By shifting the teacher’s and students’ attention away from the lesson, even seemingly minor disruptions can erode the quality of instruction. These interruptions also add up over weeks and months, which further eats into instructional time.
Because digital hall passes make it easier to limit unnecessary student movement during class periods, students are more often in class and engaged in learning. Digital hall passes also automate the request and approval process, so disruptions during class are significantly minimized. This benefits both teachers and students by maintaining a focused and functioning learning environment.
5. Optimize Hall Pass Management
When you understand how a digital hall pass works, it’s impossible to ignore the inefficiencies of paper hall passes. By simply removing paper from the process, large schools can significantly reduce paper usage and waste. But all schools, regardless of size, can benefit from digital hall passes.
While change is rarely easy, making the switch to digital hall passes takes less effort than you may think. Implementation is pretty straightforward, and teacher adoption is often quick and painless.
Given the ways digital hall passes are helping other K-12 schools operate more efficiently, safely, and productively, aren’t they worth exploring for your own school?