The student news site of Seneca Valley Senior High School.

Seneca Scout

The student news site of Seneca Valley Senior High School.

Seneca Scout

The student news site of Seneca Valley Senior High School.

Seneca Scout

Smartpass: Brilliant or Burden?


At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Seneca Valley School District implemented Smartpass for the Senior High to create an organized way of leaving classrooms throughout the day.

In past years, Seneca allowed students in the Senior High to go to the bathroom or another teacher’s classroom with a simple request. Now, the students must make a Smartpass to go anywhere from their designated classrooms. This makes it easier for teachers to keep track of where students are, at what time, and for how long. If an incident were to occur there is an accessible way to find out where everyone was and the timeframe in which they were there.

“There’s no way to track where students are,” Principal Robert Ceh said. “[The Intermediate High School] did this last year and had success with it,” This is the Senior High administration’s reasoning for introducing it to the SHS.  He went on to say, “Any time you know where kids are it’s a good thing.”

There are a lot of pros to the Smartpass system, especially considering how many students leave classrooms each period. But, on the other hand, a lot of students do not agree with the new policy. They find it to be insinuating that they are immature and that the school does not trust them. They also point out that it wastes time.

“I feel like they don’t trust us,” Sierra Bell, a 12th grade student said. “Whenever I am making it, I feel like, oh so they don’t trust me to actually go where I asked to go.” She also highlights that creating Smartpasses can be slightly inconvenient compared to the previous system of taking a hall pass. She said, “I feel like it’s time-consuming, especially if we’re not allowed our phones in class. I have to get my computer out.”

Many teachers agree with the newfound policy but are not turning a blind eye to some of the disrupting qualities it brings.

“I think if an incident happens, I think it will definitely be more efficient. You just got to make sure people use it,” Rebekah Grinnen, a philosophy and psychology teacher, said. “I think there is a time to use the pass, like going to the library, excellent. As far as the bathroom is concerned, I’m not going to stop teaching to look at the pass, so the bathroom, I think a regular pass or just go to the bathroom.” She agrees it would be a burden to have to accept pass requests as it cuts into class time.

As the year goes on, Smartpass will become a norm for the SHS and is a useful tool for teachers and other staff overall. While students may feel slightly annoyed and frustrated, eventually it will become a subconscious click.

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