New Appointment Passes Upset SHS Students

“Using appointment passes promotes students’ planning to maximize their CaLP travel time while communicating where students are traveling between teachers.”

This is an excerpt from a weekly newsletter posted on S’more, one of the communication platforms Seaman High School uses to update parents and students, about the new changes made to e-hallpass.

When students returned from school from the first semester, students came back to a significant change to their e-hallpass system. This new change to e-hallpass, made to maximize students time management, has proven to many students of SHS to be disruptive to their ability to reach out to our teachers and receive the help they are seeking during their CaLP time. When students returned to school to start their second semester, the new changes quickly upset the student body.

E-hallpass is an electronic hall pass system, designed to replace paper hand out passes and to better track where a student is going throughout the school day, when not in class. This new change has inhibited the ability to travel and get help from teachers as needed, and to actually use the provided travel time efficiently.

In the past, E-hallpass similarly to what is used for today but there weren’t appointment passes or limits to how many you could have within a day. You were able to freely send passes during your CaLP time to your teachers and were easily able to go and get the help you needed, after the pass was accepted. 

CaLP is the study hall at SHS. This is a time designed to get your homework done, especially work that you may need help with that you can’t get at home. In 2019, a change was made to our schedule to reduce CaLP time. In the old schedule, CaLP was a 90 minute class and students were able to get many things done and get the exact help needed. In the 2019-2020 school year, CaLP was reduced into a 45 minute class and is now every day. This change was due to people not using time effectively in the past with the 90 minute class. Now within that 45 minutes, we are forced to participate in Viking Vibes. Viking Vibes is the first ten minutes in class where no one is allowed to talk but just sit there in silence and gather yourself and your thoughts. That leaves 35 minutes to get assignments done and travel to teachers for help. 

CaLP lessons on Wednesdays were another implementation this year, with the intent to help meet the social and emotion needs of students while teaching them about how to plan their life after college. Some lessons that were taught this year include; how to express emotions correctly, how beauty standards are harmful, and how to find out what you want to do after high school.

However, in order to fit these CaLP lessons into a students schedule, students aren’t allowed to travel to get help from teachers on Wednesday, instead having to stay in the classroom forced to listen to these lessons that most students would agree are mostly common sense, boring, and a waste of CaLP time. Even if the lesson is important, students usually grumble at the teachers, cutting themselves off from the lesson, instead staring into space to ignore the lesson. This is an intrusion on students time, because in a normal five-day week students would have 175 minutes a week to travel and get help, as compared to the schedule four years ago when students had 195 minutes of CaLP/seminar time. This year, with the implementation of Wednesday CaLP lessons, students are reduced to 140 minutes a week. Though it may seem like a lot of time, during that week students will have club meetings, an essential and encouraged part of high school, and working on homework and getting help from teachers. 

Personally, I don’t find that enough time to start a project, because I will be stuck in the middle of something when the bell rings and that makes me feel more overwhelmed. 

As a student in her last semester of high school, I find the new E-Hall pass change an inconvenience, and something that cuts into my learning time rather than maximizing it, as do many of my peers at Seaman High School. 

With CaLP time already drastically reduced, I find CaLP time as something more overwhelming than helpful in the long run of my school day.  

For students who are heavily involved in this change this has made it hard to get everything done during the 35 minutes available to travel. As a student in many of the journalism classes, I use this time to get interviews done and finish filming things I need to, with e-hallpass though, my time to get things done is compromised because I am not able to travel to where I need to in the time crunch I am already in and instead of just leaving to film, I am told to make an appointment pass instead, or that I can’t because I did not have a pass made prior. This also happens with other students who try to get assistance from multiple teachers during CaLP, and the new appointment pass makes it way more challenging to get the help and use time properly, like it’s supposed to.

This new change has been nothing but an intrusion on the short time we are given to get the help we need on our homework and other assignments given. This is seen as more of a flaw in the plan by students and people around in the high school. For some this new plan may be working great, but for most it hasn’t been a help at all.