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How DCL STEM Academy Empowers Student Accountability with Digital Hall Passes

"SmartPass gives both students and teachers more autonomy. Students don't have to ask me for passes to leave class and I don't need to stop teaching every time a student needs to use the restroom."

DCL STEM Academy
New Jersey
Using SmartPass Since 2022-23
Using SmartPass For

Student Accountability, Student Autonomy, Digital Hall Passes

Maleike Hector
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DCL STEM Academy, a forward-thinking institution in Wayne, New Jersey, wanted to empower students with greater autonomy and responsibility while enhancing the efficiency of managing and communicating student movements throughout the building. The school's existing pass system was tedious and inefficient, relying on QR codes and Google Forms that funneled information into Google Sheets, forcing teachers to sift through information to find what they needed.

Before SmartPass

Maleike Hector, a history instructor at DCL STEM Academy, described the old Google Sheets system as "super cumbersome." Students used a QR code to access a Google Form where they entered their ID number, name, and destination. All this information was logged into a Google Sheet, which quickly became unwieldy. Hector noted, "By the end of the week, that Google Sheet is so laggy and you can never ever run through it."

The manual system also failed to provide real-time data on student movements, making it difficult to track how long students were out of class without being intrusive. Hector explained, “Beforehand, we were not able to log how long or how often students were missing instructional time.”

Implementing SmartPass

DCL STEM kicked off SmartPass by piloting it with a few classes. Hector recalled, "We started off with like three or four classes. And then we quickly had the whole school using SmartPass.” This phased approach allowed the school to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments.

The administration rolled out SmartPass with the clear intention of fostering greater responsibility and accountability among students, rather than as a punitive measure. Despite initial resistance from students, the administration listened to their concerns and made changes, such as increasing the number of bathroom passes available.

Hector emphasized the purpose of SmartPass: "We want kids to be able to be in control of themselves. SmartPass does an excellent job in doing that."

Positive Impact Results

SmartPass replaced the outdated QR code and Google Sheets method, streamlining the process for both students and teachers. 

The new system fostered a sense of responsibility among students and empowered students rather than restricting them. "It creates so much more autonomy for the kids," said Hector. Students could manage their own passes without disrupting class, and teachers received notifications directly on their phones. This increased autonomy was a key objective of the new system, designed to empower students rather than restrict them.

SmartPass provided real-time data on student movements, allowing the school to monitor how frequently students left the classroom. Hector mentioned, "With SmartPass, we can now monitor how long and how often kids are out of class," which helped address issues related to student performance and behavior without being intrusive.

Students quickly adapted to the new system, and SmartPass seamlessly became part of the school culture. Hector noted, "The user-friendly design and the ability for students to manage their own passes have made SmartPass an integral part of our school environment."


SmartPass significantly improved the efficiency and functionality of DCL STEM Academy's pass system, fostering a more autonomous and responsible student body.

The positive impact at DCL STEM Academy demonstrates how technology—when thoughtfully implemented—can enhance educational environments, making life easier for both students and educators. By emphasizing student autonomy and responsibility, SmartPass has transformed the way DCL STEM Academy manages student movements, ensuring a more efficient and empowering system for all.

The success of SmartPass at DCL STEM Academy led to its adoption in other schools within Passaic County Technical-Vocational Schools.

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