Letter to the Editor: PASS has potential but too often misused


Promoting Academic Student Success. MTHS’s advisory is called PASS. A student at MTHS whom we interviewed says that “PASS is relatively effective but would be more effective if some changes were made.”

So what are these changes? How should MTHS go about making these changes? What are the ways that PASS can be improved?

A survey of MTHS students was taken last spring. Questions in this survey included asking how the use of PASS has affected students, what students do during PASS, and how, if at all, they think PASS should change.

Approximately 20 percent of students said that they use PASS, at least some of the time, to engage in non-curricular activities.

So, we conducted our own mini-survey with our fellow classmates. The majority of them said that they wished there were more PASS days. Why did most of the students want more PASS days? Mainly because it shortened other class times and it was a time to relax, goof off, socialize with friends, etc.

Is this a good use of time? Absolutely not! While most students did say that there was some school work being completed, such as homework, class work, and making up work and tests, they all still preferred more days of PASS mainly for the desire of socializing. From the surveys that did not favor PASS, students said that the current days of PASS sufficed for these school related necessary activities.

“I realize that [PASS] takes a lot of time away from other teachers’ class times,” one student said in response to the question asking if the current number of PASS days was too much. This statement is very true and illustrates the point that while PASS is helpful in moderation for those needing assistance from teachers. At the current number of days, PASS takes away time from actual valuable learning in the classroom.

PASS is too often being abused by students and can be a waste of time. Many students treat PASS as a free passing period in which they can goof off rather than using their time at school efficiently. PASS is definitely effective for those students needing help or a time to make up work, but it is not necessary as often as it currently is. PASS should be only once a week, providing students a chance to check in with teachers and get help or assistance when needed.