Are Hall Passes Sanitary?
Edward Lippl, the senior class representative to the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board, spoke on the subjects of agenda books and hall passes at a board meeting on Wednesday night.
Lippl expressed concern over the practice of using plastic hall passes for occasions like bathroom breaks for students. In years past, high school students’ paper agendas acted as hall passes when signed by a teacher or an administrator.
Lippl felt that using a personal agenda or a one-time, paper item as a hall pass are more sanitary options than using a plastic pass that has been in the bathroom with many people. Lippl shared a rumor that some students have been purposefully urinating on plastic hall passes.
Baldwin-Whitehall Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak agreed that actions like that would be a serious concern, but Korchnak said that the plastic hall passes, which are color-coded to permit access only to a certain zone of Baldwin High, are a better solution for bathroom breaks than paper agendas.
Korchnak said that paper agendas do not offer immediate, visual confirmation for security guards, teachers and/or administrators as to whether or not a student is in the appropriate zone of the school. Colored hall passes do.
“They (the plastic, colored passes) prevent kids from going one-quarter of a mile to one end (of the building) and saying, ‘Hey, I have a hall pass,’” Korchnak said. “They (students) end up on the other end of the building, and usually, that’s for no good reason.”
“Right now, the card system seems like a good idea,” Lippl said, “but it’s just unsanitary.”
Korchnak said that he considered Lippl’s point to be a good one and that, after receiving input from other administrators, he would consider a change in hall-pass practice at the high school.
Why No Paper Schedules?
Many attendants of the B-W School Board’s meeting on Wednesday night, including Victoria Schmotzer, the sophomore class representative to the board, voiced displeasure over high school students not receiving paper copies of their class schedules this school year.
Baldwin High Principal Kevin J. O’Toole responded that class schedules were made available digitally through Skyward, but many school board members, as well as Korchnak, expressed interest in bringing back the practice of providing paper class schedules to the high school students.
O’Toole said that the idea to keep the schedules digital—with an option for each student to print out a paper copy—is a measure that would save the school district money in printing costs.
Korchnak applauded O’Toole for the idea, as did board President George L. Pry and fellow board member Kevin J. Fischer, who encouraged O’Toole to keep thinking of paperless options.
However, as Korchnak said, “Old habits die hard,” and the consensus among board members was to print out schedules for students from now on to accommodate those without home Internet access or those who may have forgotten to check Skyward.
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch for more odds and ends from Wednesday night’s school board meeting.