Check in with E-Hallpass

With the school year approaching its halfway point, what do staff and students think of E-Hallpass?



This year, administration put into place the E-Hallpass system, a website that allows teachers and administrators to monitor students’ time outside of class. Assistant principal Andrew Comb said the system was put in place for safety reasons.


“We needed a way to be able to track student movement throughout the building. Before then, we often would get emails from teachers. ‘Has anybody seen such and such? I don’t know where they are.’ And that’s a really bad feeling. We’re responsible for you guys, and your safety,” Comb said. “It’s not about tracking necessarily where you go. We don’t do much with the data. We just want to make sure that if kids are out there going where they’re supposed to be, they have permission from a teacher.”


Many have conflicting views on the efficiency of the system.


According to an anonymous survey of 60 staff members, 42.4% said that E-Hallpass affected or sometimes affected their teaching. Out of 23 responses asking how E-Hallpass affected teaching, 16 replied that it interrupted the flow of instruction. Many teachers said that they had to stop instruction, return to their desks, and approve or end passes.


However, some staff reported that E-Hallpass benefitted them, as students could create their own passes and cause fewer interruptions..


A discrepancy is caused due to the different ways individual teachers utilize E-Hallpass. Some allow students to start or end their own passes, while others must stop class in order to create passes for their students. Due to this, some teachers voiced concerns that students may be confused about pass rules in each of their classes. 


One struggle I’ve noticed is students have a hard time keeping track of what they’re allowed to do with E-Hallpass,” one staff member said. “For example, I let my students start/stop passes, but in other classes, they cannot. So when a student tells me they filled out the pass I assume they also started it, but I’ve found that’s not always the case. I plan on putting a note up on my board that they can start/stop passes to help mitigate this issue. If other teachers experience this problem, perhaps they can post their pass rules as well.”


Out of an anonymous survey of 230 students (slightly over 10% of the student body), 27.2% of students said they infrequently or never use E-Hallpass when they’re leaving the room.Nearly one-third of students (32.9%) said they felt E-Hallpass affects how they learn. 


Out of 76 write-in responses asking students to elaborate on how E-Hallpass affects how they learn, 57.9% said that they miss more class because of how long E-Hallpass takes. 34.2% of responses also mentioned that the system interrupts teachers. Some noted that they avoid using the restroom due to the inconvenience, which causes greater distractions in class.


“If I am forced to use an E-Hallpass when leaving the room, I simply don’t leave and many times that causes me to think more about using the restroom than the lesson being taught,” one student said. “E-Hallpass is just too much of a hassle and confusing to me rather than just asking the teacher to be able to use the restroom.”


One student went into detail about the lengthy process required to approve passes. They suggested that all teachers should allow students to create auto passes since students are almost adults and should be able to make decisions of their own.


“This does not take away from teacher’s abilities to track student’s passes or the safety information that comes naturally with digital hall passes, rather it saves time for teachers, giving more time for student learning,” the student said.


While this solution doesn’t address the time it takes to create passes for students, it may reduce whole class interruptions. In fact, Assistant Principal Andrew Comb suggested a similar solution.


“I would really recommend that staff use the auto pass feature for restrooms, water fountains, you know, stuff like that,” Comb said. 


In addition, students can utilize the E-Hallpass app.


“[The app] is a little more convenient,” Comb said. “Some kids use it, some kids still use the web. If you have the app, it’s a lot easier to pull it up and show your pass.”


Whether teachers were on either side of this issue, most conceded that E-Hallpass was necessary from a safety and security standpoint. 


I understand from a building security perspective why it’s useful, and I would say the pros probably do outweigh the cons. So yeah, minor annoyance, but nothing worth fretting over too much from my perspective,” one teacher said.