The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

The Prowler

The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

The Prowler

The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

The Prowler

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Starr’s Mill begins testing digital pass system

Jenson Mahr
Sophomore Ella Bissonettte demonstrates SmartPass. SmartPass is a virtual hall pass that helps staff keep track of student whereabouts. Starr’s Mill will be using SmartPass for the rest of this school year on a trial basis to determine if the school should purchase the continued use of the application going into the 2024-2025 school year.

SmartPass is a virtual hall pass system that is used by over 2,000 schools in six countries. As of this week, Starr’s Mill became one of those schools. 

“Whitewater High school is using it, and we had gotten some sales pitches,” Principal Allen Leonard said. “The more we heard, the more we liked the idea.”

SmartPass allows school staff to keep track of where students go, what time they are out of the classroom, and regulates how many students can be out of the classroom or in one area at a time. Students are allowed two passes a day. 

“I know it helps staff know the specific locations of students,” junior Madeline Hoyer said. “But it takes longer than writing a handwritten pass.”

The digital pass system can be helpful in case of an emergency, as well as assisting the administration in catching kids who skip class. SmartPass will inform staff who exactly is out of the classroom, how long they have been gone, and where they are. 

“I understand why we’re using it,” junior Dayvon Collier said. “I do not believe it is necessary, because not everyone tries to skip class.”

Although Starr’s Mill is utilizing SmartPass for hall passes only, SmartPass can also be used for student ID cards, attendance, and scheduling for extracurricular events. 

“So far it’s been really good. We have all sorts of functionality administratively and teacher-wise to help see where our kids are going,” Leonard said. “The feedback we’ve gotten back from our teachers so far has been overall positive.”

The seven-week trial will last through the end of the school year. Starr’s Mill leadership will decide over the summer if the program should be purchased and fully implemented in the 2024-2025 school year. 

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