Photo taken by: Dex Keizers
Faculty members denying a pass request can be a student’s worst nightmare, especially if it’s a few periods before a test or when a last minute pass is required. Some students report passes being denied to the library more than other teachers.
The main reason the media center staff declines a pass is student error in a request such as lack of correct information.
“The correct way to send a pass is making sure the description is correct. I just need to know what period students are coming,” librarian Gigi Shook said. “Some students have told me a whole big line of ‘I need to do this and that.’ I’m not going to question why you have to come in, I just need to know when you’re coming in.”
Out of over 2,400 students in the school, up to 40 students per class period could already be using the library for VU and Global campus classes. These students are given priority seating in the library and take up most of the limited number of seats available.
“There are a lot of reasons that I think a lot of students misunderstand,” Shook said. “Just because a student puts a pass in for the library, they think that I’m going to have the space. Global Campus students are assigned here. We already have students in here before I even open the library up to study hall students. So I think that when kids see that the pass has been declined, they need to read the reason. A lot of times it’s that the period is full, which has happened more this semester. Or sometimes they don’t get the pass in on time or some of the information is wrong.”
The Media Center is one of the busiest places in the school; not only do the staff have the day-to-day running of the Media Center, they are also supervising students who take the online courses. This is why the deadline of 7 a.m. exists for submissions for passes. Library staff cannot always check their iPads through the day with their workload.
“You have to be diligent about it, because it gets so busy in here with iPads and everything else. Getting people checked in and checked out for Global Campus takes up time also. That’s why, at the beginning of the year, I made the decision to have all the passes in by 7:00. Sometimes I do a last verification at 7:30. So sometime within that period, it has to come in. The bad part about that is there are needs that come up in the day, and I can’t constantly go on my iPad. That’s why I had to make some kind of deadline; it’s not perfect. It would be nice to verify a pass during the day, but I just don’t have the time. It’s just busy in here all the time,” Shook said.
There have been cases of paper passes being misused by students who would “acquire ” a stack of passes and stamp them for themselves to use at a later date; however,
paper passes are hardly ever used within school since the introduction of PassWhiz.
“Before someone could walk off with a book of passes and just write them out and get a stamp,” Shook said. “Because those things in the past did happen, people lost their stamps or didn’t realize someone had taken a pad of paper. This, though, it goes directly to the teacher so the teacher has to verify it, to say it’s okay. In some ways it cut that back.”
PassWhiz passes make it easier for students to send requests, but due to to the impersonal delivery, students may misunderstand the mistakes they make on the pass and don’t know why it was denied.
“PassWhiz is much easier to use than writing 80 passes a day. The only negative is I can’t properly communicate with students because they don’t understand [the denial note] is a way of communication,” Shook said.
If students are having trouble with PassWhiz, Assistant Principal Jake Short is the administrator who works directly with the app developer.