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New Hall Pass System Hits Sandburg Hallways

At Sandburg, students and teachers know the importance of attendance. With fast-paced courses covering rigorous material, being present in the classroom is an important factor for achieving good grades.

But oftentimes, this message does not always get across to every student, with some taking advantage of bathroom breaks and trips to the water fountain. To combat this, Sandburg has recently implemented new hallway passes that are to be used for any reason when a student needs to leave during class. 

The slips are tan in color, and require the teacher to write down the classroom number, the student’s name, the date, the time, the class period, and the destination, all with a staff signature to validate. This system differs significantly from the past, when students could leave with permission, and only needed hallway passes if they needed to stay after class.

Sandburg’s new hall passes – Photo courtesy of Victoria Phillips

Prior to this new hall pass system, students had a large amount of freedom when it came to prioritizing their needs, but because of mistreatment of this relatively relaxed policy, their time outside of the classroom needed to be cut down to keep them on track.

Sandburg social studies teacher Ms. Greta Leader stated, “I think the passes are effective, since students have felt less inclined to leave class. It has also cut down on unnecessary trips out of the room. Prior to the passes, some students have exploited their bathroom privileges, taking the long way back or wandering the hallway.” 

One concern with the new system is enforcement. Prior to the passes, if a student in the hall was stopped by a staff member, it was difficult and potentially time-consuming to communicate to the student that they need to get back in the classroom. But because the passes show where the student is going, what room they just came from, along with a timestamp, this rule can become a necessity for students to follow and teachers to enforce. 

However, some students feel that these physical hall passes are creating troublesome obstacles of their own. Sandburg senior Gabriella Virgen, for example, stated, “I don’t really think the passes have solved many problems, only because it is hard to enforce rules inside the bathroom when the passes are checked in hallways.”

While the passes do solve the issue of students walking around the halls when they should not be, the time and activities spent in the bathroom is harder to prevent and supervise. 

Naomi Turk, another Sandburg senior, also noted another potential obstacle in using the passes. She states that in her experience, “[if] a teacher runs out of the pack of passes they are given, no student can go use the restroom.” 

However, students can also acknowledge the benefits of using these new hall passes and the positive impacts they have made throughout the school. Virgen stated, “it may take a few seconds longer for my teachers to write the passes, but it isn’t too distracting in my case.” 

Similarly, Ms. Leader seems to agree, saying that “Overall, it is working. Students are making outside classroom trips more efficient than in the past, turning the Sandburg community into a productive and orderly environment.”

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