STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Controversy surrounds a new app that students in the Poconos will be using this year as an electronic hall pass.
The Stroudsburg High School is piloting “Smart Pass,” a new app that will replace a printed hall pass that students use to visit the restroom and go to their lockers.
Community concerns were voiced across social media. In less than a week, students will be filling the halls of the Stroudsburg high school for its first day of school.
A new environment for those walking through the doors for the first time, but even upperclassmen will be introduced to its new electronic hall pass system “Smart Pass.”
“It takes away the paper aspect of it. It makes it more efficient,” said Jeffrey Sodl, Principal of Stroudsburg High School.
Replacing the old paper hall passes, “Smart Pass” is an app installed on the students’ school-issued Chromebooks, where they will request to visit a specific bathroom or their lockers.
“We know which students are out, we know where they were supposed to go, where they say they were going, and we can deal with it that way,” Sodl explained.
Principal Jeffrey Sodl tells Eyewitness News the app is meant to help students academically.
“We can look at how many times or when they go out during the school day. We can say student a is going out in history class all the time, every day and academically, I think that can help us as well,” stated Sodl.
He says they’ve seen pushback from parents because of the software’s tracking system, but explains it’s aimed to know where the student is headed in case of an emergency or incident.
“I can’t see how parents are opposed to making the building a safer place and making us or allowing us to promote their academic performance by having them more in class rather than in the hall roaming,” Sodl explained.
The app is being piloted only in the Stroudsburg high school, Sodl says he believes it’s going to increase student academic performance.
“We’re tracking usage, not the student. So it’s an awesome system,” said Sodl.
Sodl says the app also allows students to request passes to see teachers for more help with their class.
The new app is installed on their school-issued laptop.
When needing to visit the restroom or leave the classroom, they will do so through the app, sending a request to the teacher and stating the specific location they will go to.
Community concerns were voiced across social media, so we talked to people in Stroudsburg about their reaction to the policy.
“A lot different from carrying a large block of wood with a key attached to it and just saying, ‘yeah I got to go to the bathroom,’ but you gotta understand times have changed. We’re living in a crazy society and you gotta do what you have to do to protect the kids maybe, so I’m sure they have their pulse on it,” said Matthew Stallard, owner, of Raw Urban Winery and Hard Cidery.
“I don’t have a problem with it from a parent standpoint. I have more of a wondering from the teacher’s standpoint, how it will work for her. From a parent’s point of view, no I don’t have a problem with it,” explains Lisa Imbert, of East Stroudsburg.
The app is only in use at the Stroudsburg High School. School officials say they believe it’s going to increase academic performance.
Students will test it out on Monday, for their first day of school.