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As school year ends, a new pass system starts

Administration promotes system as a step toward better safety and consistency

Assistant Principal Brent Gehring unveiled plans for a new online pass system at Papio South, joining a national trend that aims to enhance safety and streamline processes within educational institutions. Gehring shed light on the motivation behind the initiative and its potential benefits for both staff and students. 

Gehring explained that the decision to implement the pass system stemmed from a year-long effort to address safety concerns and establish consistency across schools. “This is a trend that I would say the nation is going to. If you look around the metro area alone, Gretna, Millard, Bellevue…as well as Lincoln Public Schools.” said Gehring. Papillon South has been trying for a year or more to implement this new system in schools and finally, recommendations from other schools pushed our school into the same trend as the others. 

The pass system, according to Gehring, aims to achieve several objectives. “We want to curb, and eliminate vandalism and substance use in the bathroom. The system would be intuitive enough to know if two students have an issue and one of them is out in the hallway, to not allow the other person out in the hallway at the same time. So we might be able to decrease the amount of student conflict.” said Gehring. As many students know of these incidents or participate it’s important to find a way to stop it. Keeping students accountable for their actions and reducing disruptions in the learning environment. 

Additionally, Gehring highlighted the system’s potential to enhance communication between teachers, students, and parents by providing a watchful eye over all students and their whereabouts. “Our goals are to find a consistent and sustainable system for school-wide. If you look from teacher to teacher, some of the practices and policies are a little different from room to room, so we’re looking for consistency.” said Gehring. As we know each teacher has different rules and regulations in their classrooms. The pass system as Gehring states, is only one of the many rules that will be consistent throughout every classroom. 

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Despite initial resistance from some students, Gehring underscored the paramount importance of safety. “We want to make sure that safety is the number one concern,” he asserted. “We want to protect our facilities, number two, like I said earlier. But the other thing is we want to make the system as easy to use as possible for the kids.” said Gehring.

 Looking ahead, Gehring acknowledges that the trial period would offer invaluable insights into the system’s efficacy and pave the way for potential refinements in the future. “New things are hard. Change is hard,” He remarked.  “And we thought, since this was a trial run, we thought it was better to give it a run at the end when we’re already comfortable with what we do to see the change. Whereas if we started the year with it…” said Gehring.

As Papillion-La Vista High School embarks on this new chapter, the administration remains steadfast in its commitment to prioritizing student safety and well-being while fostering a culture of accountability and excellence. 

Security Point of View of the Digital Pass System

This new digital pass system has left students in shock and wondering why it’s a thing. An interview with Security guard Jim Larson, revealed answers to students have been asking or wondering about.

Students have asked, what was the point of this bathroom pass? Larson said that students would roam around in the school not really using the physical bathroom pass. He also mentioned the new pass system seems like a good idea, sort of a necessity because students weren’t being responsible or accountable. “There was no way of checking where they’re supposed to be. It made it difficult to hold the students accountable” Larson said.

Another question some students have been wondering or questioning is who created the pass system? Larson said that the pass system came from other districts and that there are other schools using the pass system. 

“The decision comes from the leadership of the schools” Larson said.

Another question students may be asking is how long will this system be running for?  “The digital pass system will be most likely permanent, but it also sounds like it also depends on the students actions and responsibilities when in hallways,” Larson said. 

Attendance office takes on new pass system 

Tammy Korner and Renee Couture who work in the attendance office, bring their thoughts to the table. 

They say they were unaware of the pass system before it was first introduced, and had no previous notice about the school obtaining the system. “I didn’t like it because I didn’t understand it ”said Couture. The new pass system caused a few issues for the office. It is helpful for attendance and for mornings checking kids in, but when it came down to sending passes for kids to leave, a few mountains appeared. “ there is a 2 hour delay which is kinda annoying and students aren’t aware yet” said Korner.

 The aids stated the reason for the pass system comes down to students messing around in the halls, this way everyone can see who has permission to be in the hallway. 

 “[The system is efficient] and easy to use,” said Couture. 

This pass system is only used in the mornings by attendance due to the ease and not during check in or leaving due to being called out, however there are a few more benefits to using this new system rather than paper passes, “It wastes less paper, and time” said Korner.

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