In recent years, schools have been exploring new solutions to streamline and improve the traditional hall pass system used by students. One popular digital hall pass app that has emerged is Ehallpass, which aims to bring the antiquated hall pass process into the 21st century.
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What is Ehallpass? is a web and mobile app designed to replace paper hall passes and manage student requests to leave the classroom. The system involves online hall pass requests, teacher approvals, time tracking, and location monitoring to ensure oversight and accountability when students leave class.
While this technology offers certain benefits, Ehallpass has also received criticism from students, teachers, and parents regarding disruptions, complexity, and variable effectiveness. This article will provide an in-depth and balanced review of how Ehallpass works, its features and capabilities, and the pros and cons of implementing this digital hall pass system.
What is Ehallpass?
Ehallpass is a digital hall pass solution created by Incorporated Communications LLC and implemented in over 900 schools across 45 states. It allows students to make hall pass requests directly from their school-issued devices.
The system replaces paper passes and “Out of Class” boards with a fully digital system accessible online and through iOS and Android apps. Core features include:
- Student hall pass requests
- Teacher approval/denial
- Customizable hall pass reasons
- Timed hall passes
- Hallway monitoring
- Analytics and reporting
This aims to improve student accountability, coordinate student movement, and give teachers and administrators oversight and data on student requests and time out of class.
How Does the Ehallpass System Work?
The Ehallpass system involves a straightforward process:
1. Student Request
When a student needs to leave the classroom for any reason, whether to use the restroom, go to the nurse, meet with a counselor, or anything else, they begin by making a request through the Ehallpass system.
Ehallpass student request form. Source: Ehallpass
Some of the customizable hall pass type options include:
Students can also leave additional comments for the teacher if needed.
2. Teacher Approval
Once a student submits their request, it appears on the teacher’s Ehallpass dashboard. The teacher can view details on the student, destination, and pass duration.
From here, they can choose to approve or deny the request based on factors like classroom activities, time left in the period, student history, and more. Approved passes may also involve selecting a time limit for the student to return.
Ehallpass teacher approval interface. Source: Ehallpass
If approved, the pass appears on the student’s phone screen including the allotted time limit. Once that time expires, the app notifies them to return to class.
3. halls Monitor and Analytics
One of Ehallpass’s flagship features is halls Monitor – an interactive map showing real-time student locations and hall pass statuses. This allows teachers and administrators to monitor students’ movements throughout the building with live updates.
The system also compiles data and generates analytics on metrics like:
- Frequency of student requests
- Average hall pass durations
- Trends by time of day, classroom, and student
- Frequent incomplete passes
This aims to provide data-driven insight into student behavior that can inform administrative decisions.
4. Customizations and Set Up
Ehallpass offers flexible customization of pass reasons, durations, notifications, and more. Schools can design the system to fit their policies, facilities, and needs.
However, users note the set up process on the administrative end can be complex involving steps like:
- Integrating with school information systems
- Building out pass reasons
- Setting durations
- Assigning user roles
- Training staff and students
This contributes to one criticism that Ehallpass may be overly complex relative to paper passes.
Benefits and Advantages of Ehallpass
While opinions on Ehallpass vary, there are several potential benefits schools highlight with using the digital system:
Increased Accountability and Awareness
With paper passes, there was minimal accountability for where students traveled and how long they were out of class. Ehallpass provides live oversight into each student’s status, making it easier to monitor extended or frequent absences.
More Efficient Student Tracking
Ehallpass cuts down on time spent manually tracking students down in the halls or trying to locate those who are missing from class. The map interface offers real-time visibility.
Streamlined Hallway Traffic
By monitoring all student movement, administrators can identify crowded corridors, exits, bathrooms etc. This allows for data-driven decisions about passing periods, traffic flow, and facility use.
Improved Classroom Focus
Anecdotal reports indicate Ehallpass can reduce classroom disruptions involving raises of hands, waiting in lines, and tracking passes. The automated system may minimize distractions.
Knowing where students are at all times enhances school security and safety in the event of emergencies. Ehallpass also deters opportunities for risky behaviors in unsupervised settings.
Ehallpass compiles student data into charts, graphs, and tables that offer administrators insight into school operations. This can drive procedural decisions.
While these benefits appeal to many school districts, Ehallpass also faces a number of criticisms and challenges during implementation.
Criticisms and Challenges with Ehallpass
Despite the advantages, Ehallpass has received mixed reviews from teachers, students, and parents. Here are some of the most common complaints and criticisms.
Complex, Multi-Step Set Up Process
One of the most frequent critiques is that Ehallpass involves an overly complex onboarding and set up process. From creating customized pass reasons to training all stakeholders, the system is more complex than just purchasing a pack of paper passes.
While Ehallpass aims to minimize disruptions through automated requests, some teachers report issues like students constantly refreshing their screens or distraction when another student receives a notification. The system itself can interfere with classroom focus and activities.
Like any technology, Ehallpass is subject to technical glitches, lag times, and other IT issues. Network outages or application errors could render the system completely useless and create confusion.
Student Inconvenience and Hesitation
Anecdotes indicate some students will delay bathroom breaks or completing other tasks until passing periods rather than initiate a formal Ehallpass request during class. They view the system as inconvenient and restrictive.
Ineffective Time Monitoring
Though Ehallpass tracks durations, some students still manage to spend most of class in the hallway or restroom well beyond approved times. Enforcement continues to require human oversight.
Excessive Student Monitoring
Certain parents and students argue features like real-time location tracking and analytics represent excessive and unnecessary monitoring. They believe it breeds mistrust and an overly restrictive environment.
Cost and Budget Constraints
Ehallpass requires an institutional license and fees based on the number of students. For larger schools, this represents a significant software investment often not feasible in today’s tight school budgets.
These factors likely contribute to the mixed reviews and polarized perspectives on Ehallpass’s effectiveness in schools so far.
Ehallpass Use and Effectiveness – What the Data Shows
Given the debate surrounding Ehallpass, what does the data and research indicate about its tangible benefits and impact on student behavior?
Several studies provide limited insight:
- An internal Ehallpass case study in Owasso Public Schools found a 28% drop in tardiness and 38% reduction in unexcused absences after implementing the system.
- A 2021 study in the NASSP Bulletin examined two high schools using Ehallpass. It found mixed results, with one school decreasing tardiness and the other showing no improvement.
- One paper in the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership highlighted improved hallway management but no impact on tardiness or absences.
Overall, few large-scale, objective studies have rigorously measured changes in student behavior before and after Ehallpass adoption. This makes it difficult to evaluate effectiveness beyond anecdotal accounts. Clearly more comprehensive research is needed.
However, the technology shows potential benefits, especially regarding enhanced administrative awareness and oversight. Striking the ideal balance between accountability and excessive monitoring remains an ongoing challenge.
Key Takeaways and Conclusions
In summary, here are some key takeaways and conclusions on Ehallpass as a digital hall pass solution:
- Ehallpass aims to bring hall passes into the 21st century using online requests, approvals, time tracking, and location monitoring.
- The system offers advantages like increased accountability, oversight, and data. However, complex setup and classroom disruptions are common critiques.
- Teacher, student, and parent reviews of Ehallpass remain decidedly mixed, citing benefits as well as significant drawbacks.
- Objective research on effectiveness shows potential benefits but no consensus, especially regarding improving student behavior.
- More comprehensive studies are needed to compare traditional vs. Ehall pass systems. Balance between accountability and over-monitoring is required.
- Ehall pass faces challenges around justification of costs, technical issues, and striking the ideal use balance to minimize classroom disruption.
While moving hall passes to the digital world offers many possibilities, Ehall pass remains a polarizing solution with ample room for improvement and refinement. Finding the right equilibrium of oversight, efficiency, and learning focus is essential.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ehallpass
What types of schools use Ehallpass?
Ehall pass is designed for and used by K-12 schools, primarily larger public and private schools with several hundred students or more. Adoption is growing, with over 900 schools across 45 states currently using the system.
Does Ehallpass improve student behavior?
The limited data is mixed. Some case studies show reduced tardiness and unexcused absences. However, results appear to vary widely across schools, grade levels, demographics, and implementation factors.
How much does Ehallpass cost schools?
Pricing is based on student enrollment, with licenses starting at $1500 annually for under 500 students and over $5000 for 2500+ students. Multi-year licenses offer discounted rates.
What happens if a student leaves class without requesting through Ehallpass?
Teachers are notified if a student leaves without requesting, enabling them to address unauthorized absences. Repeat violations may face detention or other disciplinary action.
Can teachers deny bathroom requests on Ehallpass?
Yes, teachers have full authority to approve or deny each request based on circumstances. However, overly restrictive bathroom access remains controversial.
Does Ehallpass track student cell phones?
No, Ehallpass does not access or track student cell phone locations or activities, only their logins and usage of the Ehall pass app itself.
Ehallpass offers an innovative approach to streamlining hall passes through technology. However, significant debate remains around its costs, effectiveness, and balance of oversight with student independence.
Schools considering implementing Ehall pass should carefully weigh benefits against potential classroom disruptions, student dissatisfaction, and technical challenges. Objective data and policy adjustments may help maximize the system’s usefulness.
With refined implementation and further improvements, digital solutions like Ehall pass could provide a more efficient hall pass process benefitting students, teachers, and administrators alike. Time will tell whether this technology revolutionizes school hall pass procedures or fades as a fad.