SmartPass at Timberlane

Photo Courtesy of SmartPass

Photo Courtesy of SmartPass

Emily Paradis and Adam Noyes

How do you keep track of your students? Does it work? Where are they really? SmartPass is a new form of a hall pass  Timberlane Regional High School has recently switched over to. The question remains… is SmartPass truly beneficial or is it just another burden placed on teachers and students? 

In March of 2022, the Timberlane Regional High School Administration rolled out a new online pass system called “SmartPass.” SmartPass is a digital hall pass system used around the U.S.  Students create a pass on their phones or computers, and then get them approved by their teacher.  

The app gives you a set amount of minutes that you have to leave your classroom, get to the bathroom, and get back to class, usually around 8  minutes. They can then be monitored by the staff on hall duty, all done through a tablet. SmartPass replaced the paper hall pass system that had been used for many years here at Timberlane. 

Among students, SmartPass isn’t well received. When SmartPass was first released at Timberlane, students and parents from the district thought that the app would be tracking students. When asked about any backlash given to the school by parents about SmartPass, 12th grade Administrator Mrs. Harbel said, 

“SmartPass does not have any GPS tracking in it, it’s not linked to any of our cameras, it literally is just an online pass system”. 

Not only did students not like the idea of the app tracking them around the school, students were also upset around how much it disrupts the class. Many students will have to interrupt their teacher’s lesson to simply leave the room. 

The teachers at Timberlane have given mostly good feedback on the app. SmartPass allows teachers to know exactly where all their students are when they aren’t in class.  When SmartPass was first launched at Timberlane, some teachers were not thrilled about the change. Teachers did not like how it interrupted their class. But, after using SmartPass for some time, teachers have found their own system of how it works in their classroom. 

When talking to Ms. Takesian, a teacher at Timberlane,  about whether or not she likes the app she said “Yeah you know, I keep my phone on me, it buzzes when I  get a request and then I  accept it, there’s not much interruption of the class anymore.”

Overall, SmartPass was a big change for both students and teachers at Timberlane however this change has ultimately been a safer and easier option for the school.