Philomath High testing digital hall pass technology

The Philomath School District has implemented a pilot program called SmartPass, which utilizes digital hall pass technology at the high school. The purpose of the program is to improve student tracking in the hallways during class time and reduce disruptions.

SmartPass sets time limits on activities such as bathroom breaks, and it blocks students from meeting up with friends or engaging in vandalism. The system alerts teachers when students are late returning from a pass, and administrators can track individual student movements through the digital system.

The digital hall pass system is not a GPS device, so it does not track a student’s exact movements. Instead, it allows staff members to check where a student should be if they are seen in the hallway during instructional time.

Teachers have seen a decrease in the number of bathroom breaks since the implementation of SmartPass. The system can also flag certain students who frequently leave class at the same time every day, which can be helpful for monitoring and addressing any concerns.

SmartPass is used nationally by over a million students and educators in more than 1,000 schools. Many schools have adopted this technology to address issues like teen vaping, vandalism, and other inappropriate behavior.

In addition to bathroom breaks, the digital pass system can also be used for other student needs outside of the classroom. Students can request passes to see a counselor or seek guidance from a specific teacher, and the counselor or teacher can accept or reject the pass based on availability.

During a recent school board meeting, there were no negative viewpoints expressed by parents regarding SmartPass. The pilot program will continue through the end of the current school year.

Other topics discussed during the meeting included approving out-of-state trips, the school district’s audit, social emotional learning initiatives, strategic planning, makeup days for classes canceled due to an ice storm, budget calendar approval, street project plans, fund appropriations, an Integrated Guidance Plan, and an Early Literacy Success Grant application.

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