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The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

The student news site of Patchogue-Medford High School

The Red & Black

From Clipboard to Paper to Smart Pass

The advantages and disadvantages to finding the right path to the best pass system
Photo by Sadie Wisniewski
The clipboards and paper passes are being eliminated this school year, and students will be instructed to use the new Smart Pass system.

As many students and teachers have been made aware, our school has implemented electronic passes for the 2023-2024 school year. The high school has tried various kinds of pass systems throughout the years including clipboards and paper passes; there are positives and negatives for each of these systems. 

Pros of the paper pass system: (Where teachers give written passes for students to use the bathroom) 

  • The name is written out on the pass, so it is more convenient for bathroom aides when printing names. 
  • Teachers keep closer track to when students leave the classroom which can be safer as students must ask teachers for a bathroom pass. 
  • Paper passes take up less space in the bathroom aides’ area than the clipboards, so things are easier to keep track of the system moves quicker. 

Cons to the paper pass system: 

  • Instructional time is lost when teachers must write out passes. 
  • Clipboards have the room number on them whereas with the paper passes bathroom aides must ask students where they are coming from which takes up more time. 
  • Teachers write out many paper passes a day, sometimes even within one period. That is a lot of paper going to waste as a bathroom pass is only used for two minutes and then thrown out by students.  

Pros to the clipboard pass system: (Where students take a clipboard to present to the bathroom aide) 

  • Students know when it is their turn to use the bathroom when they see the clipboard returned to their classroom because there is easy access to pass.
  • They are color coded, so students know exactly what bathroom to use. 
  • No interruption to class activities.  

Cons to the clipboard pass system: 

  • The clipboards experience a lot of wear and tear overtime and sometimes break. 
  • They take up a lot of space both in the classroom and the bathroom aides’ area. 
  • Students may take the wrong one on the way back from the bathroom leading to clipboards getting misplaced and teachers not obtaining the right one for their room number.  

Pros to the electronic pass system:  (Where students request a pass online) 

  • Students will not worry about keeping track of any kind of pass and bringing it to the bathroom as it is all online. 
  • It is quicker than writing out bathroom passes and may not take away as much instructional time.  
  • It will just generally be more organized and there will be fewer things to keep track of. 

Cons to electronic pass system: 

  • As many of us know, technology sometimes malfunctions. If it malfunctions and students must use the bathroom this will cause more complications. 
  • Since most of the staff and students would not be used to it, it will take some time to adjust, causing some complications early on. 
  • Not even just if the technology malfunctions but if devices die during the day and chargers are forgotten what would happen? 

I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Rusielewicz about his plan to bring on the smart passes and these were his responses: 

What are your feelings about the smart pass system? 

 “We feel the smart pass system is going to streamline to process of students navigating around our building while at the same time allowing us to monitor who is in the hallway at any given time both during a normal school day and in the event of an emergency.” 

Would students with technology issues still be able to leave the classroom as needed? 

“There will be multiple ways that students can secure a smart pass even if they’re computer is not charged or down whether it’s from their regular teacher or a sub.”  

To conclude, what are your general feelings about the new system being implemented? 

“We believe in this time where students are more comfortable with laptops that this is right in line with students tapping in the mornings for electronic passes, and electronic passes to use the library. From a technology standpoint it is evident we should move to a pass system that is also electronic.” 

Despite the pros and cons of each of the bathroom pass systems our school has implemented, it is evident that smart passes will be implemented for bathroom use, and for any students who have an alternate errand or destination. 



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About the Contributor
Sadie Wisniewski
Sadie Wisniewski, Staff Writer
Class of 2024. Loves: writing, cats, and theater. Fears: failure and heights. Wishes: I could only talk to cats.

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  • T

    Tyler GleasonNov 2, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    Very interesting perspectives!

    • S

      sadieNov 3, 2023 at 12:09 pm

      Thanks Tyla! 🙂