Sunday, March 9, 2014

How our middle school handles passes

This posts has been in my drafts for several months.  It started last summer when I did this #made4math Monday post on passes I had created.  Through blog comments/twitter conversations people requested that I do a post explaining on all the different types of passes we use at my school.  As you can see from the student planner picture below I took these photos back in November.  This post has been a long time coming, but hopefully it will shed some light on how the middle school I work at handles all the various types of passes needed to keep our halls quiet and safe while keeping track of where students are.

Blue House Passes are used during our last class of the day called Homebase. Homebase is a twenty minute period where students can get help from any teachers.  The passes allow our 120 students (who are in Blue House) to get help from any of the other three core teachers.  Students ask for permission to use a Blue House pass and just grab one out of the green bucket on my desk.

Guidance and Office Passes are for when students are called to either the Guidance Office or the Main Office.  This way I do not have to interrupt my teaching to fill out a gold pass.  The student can just go to the green bucket on my desk and grab the pass.

Gold Passes are used when a teacher needs to send a student somewhere and does not want to use one of the student's planner passes.  I typically use them to send a student to the health room.  We also have one Encore teacher who has some of our students in Homebase at the end of the day.  If one of those students needs to see me for something math related and cannot access the digi pass I give them a gold pass.

Library Passes are used primarily for students to check out books from the Library Media Center during Homebase.  These are stored in the green pass bucket on my desk.

front of pass

back of pass

Planner Passes- Every week students get six passes to use for that week for anything they need.  Students use these passes primarily to go to the restroom, get a drink, or go to their locker.  Students must fill out the date, time out, and destination, and then the teacher signs or initials the pass to make it valid.  When students leave the room they must carry the student planner with them as it is the pass.  Students used to get a certain amount of passes per quarter.  I much prefer for them to get the six passes a week.  Students are supposed to carry their planners to all classes (they don't bring them to lunch).

Close up of the planner passes for the week

Digital Homebase Pass- Students fill out a digital pass if they need to see an Encore teacher during Homebase.  They are expected to fill this out during the class of the teacher they are seeing (so that teacher knows if they have room for the student during Homebase).  Students can use a QR code or link on the classroom desktop computer (if the teacher has one) to fill out the digi pass.  Teachers can see during Homebase where any students are that are normally supposed to be with them.  This has alleviated the need to fill out paper passes and it is nice to be able to refer to the document when checking attendance during Homebase.

I would love to hear about how other schools handle passes.  We have over 700 (I think) students so you can imagine how important it is to keep track of where everyone is.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Our system of passes really seems to work well with minimal interruption to my teaching.


  1. The middle school I am doing my student teaching uses a similar planner system. This is not enforced, as it consumes instructional time. Students are, however, disruptive in the halls, and many times not where they are supposed to be. I like the idea of having passes for students to grab on the way out the door to indicate their destination.

  2. I am an elementary teacher so I don't know how the passes work with middle school. I have a child in middle school. I know they do have "advisory" period at the end of the day where they can go to a class and finish up or get help with work. My son has gone to these classes before, however on Friday I received an email that he was marked unexcused from his advisory. I called the school immediately! This had not happened before and I wanted to know where he was. All was well, however, I love the way that your teachers know where everyone is. It is so important in these times. I know they are older and more responsible...but they are still children and need guidance and supervision most of the time. Thank you for teaching!

  3. I think the middle school I am doing my learner showing uses a comparative organizer framework. This is not upheld, as it expends instructional time. Learners are, notwithstanding, disruptive in the lobbies, and commonly not where they should be. I like the thought of having passes for scholars to get on the way out the way to demonstrate their end.
    8th Grade Math Practice

  4. This is really a very nice post.


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