By: Sierra Miller
At the beginning of the second semester, several classrooms in the Elizabethtown Area High School began using a new system called e-hallpass. According Robert Crick, high school assistant principal, the “objective of e-hallpass is to provide a system by which students and staff can effectively utilize ‘passes’ in a 1:1 (Chromebook) learning environment.” Currently, the system is only being piloted, but after the 1:1 Personalized Learning Initiative is implemented next year, and every high school student has a Chromebook, e-hallpass will be incorporated throughout the entire high school. The middle school is currently using the e-hallpass system.
Alex Shubert, a middle school science teacher and member of the 1:1 Personalized Learning Committee who attended e-hallpass training, explained the process of using an e-hallpass. There are three types of passes: autopasses that students can fill out by themselves with automatic teacher approval, passes that require a teacher PIN, and “appointment passes [that] can also be made for students by their teacher[s].” Depending on the pass, teachers may be required to sign a student in and out on their devices, and, depending on the time, sometimes “instruction [is put] on hold to attend to an e-hallpass” if the sign-out requires the teacher’s approval.
While sign-out sheets have been eliminated, students are still required to carry a laminated pass to their intended destination. Shubert said that there has been some minor complications as staff and students adjust to the new program, but teachers and administrators are working together to improve the system to hopefully benefit both teachers and students more in the future.
E-hallpass establishes an extra level of security for teachers and administrators. Every teacher in the system is able to see all of their active passes, as well as all of the passes in the building. The platform also provides a record of passes with time stamps that can be used by administration to determine possible incident times and disciplinary action. Sheena Kindt, a teacher in the high school testing e-hallpass, likes “the idea of moving away from agendas” and how it “holds students accountable for time spent out of class.”
While students understand the reasoning for the transition to the e-hallpass, many dislike the system overall. Catherine Duncan (11) used e-hallpass for the first time several weeks ago. In order to use the pass, students have to log into the e-hallpass website and select their current location and destination, and they may have to obtain a teacher pin. In Duncan’s opinion, it is “quick and easy” to use but requires students who wish to create the pass on their phones to leave their phones in the classroom with a stopwatch running. Many students have expressed initial frustration with the complexity of the process versus an agenda, but the incorporation of Chromebooks next year may impact that perception.