A digital upgrade?

MCHS has implemented new digital hall pass and ID systems this year to reduce the number of class cuts compared to previous years


Allie Everhart

Though many found the transition to digital IDs and passes confusing, students and teachers at both campuses are getting used to Minga and My Homework.

Tati Rubi, Staff Writer

A student is sitting on the 4th floor of MCHS’ new edition as a security guard approaches them. The student automatically pulls up their Minga ID proving that they are allowed out for flex learning. This has become the new culture of MCHS.

For the new digital IDs, MCHS is using the app Minga that students can download on their phone. They have also implemented online hall passes that can be accessed through students’ computers from a website called My Homework. 

“We needed a more efficient way to notify and to let staff know who’s eligible for certain things,” Gregory Eiserman, assistant principal, stated. “The ID shows that. Every student has a sticker on their Minga ID that shows their lunch, or if they are eligible for [open campus], blended learning, and things like that.”

If administration is notified that a student is not in class when they’re supposed to be or out of class for more than 10 minutes, security is also notified. Security has a right to ask anyone wandering in the hallways to show their Minga ID. The ID then shows which period students are supposed to be in at that moment. 

“I can pull the student up on the iPad, and their schedule to see where they’re supposed to be,¨ Lauren Traynor, a security guard for Upper Campus says. “I have some information or I’ll usually just stop them and be like ‘Hey, where are you headed?’ Might ask for their name depending if I need it or not, then I can look them up in [My Homework] and see if a pass was put in for them.” 

If students want to go to the nurse’s office, bathroom, vending machines, their locker, or anywhere else in the building, they have to fill out an online pass. This online pass includes which class students are leaving, what floor, and occasionally students have to fill out a reason why. There is a limit of 10 minutes per pass and 10 passes per student a week.

“I’m okay with My Homework and Minga, but they’re both really tedious and unnecessary, plus the whole 10 minute passes are just unfair.” Maggie Satillan, a Sophomore at MCHS, states. “There are a number of reasons why it might take more than 10 minutes to use the bathroom.”

A lot of students have varying opinions on the matter. Whether they prefer having everything digital for the convenience, or if they dislike not having a physical pass with them, everyone has different opinions on the new systems. 

A junior at MCHS, Abigail Harwood, says “Personally I don’t have any complaints about Minga, it’s not a problem for me. It makes things so much easier, and quicker. Especially if you lose your physical ID.” 

According to Eiserman, one of the reasons why My Homework was introduced was to prevent students from taking a bathroom break that would last more than half the period. It helps control the number of people in the hallways and encourages students to be more responsible when it comes to the limited number of passes they have. 

“Teachers can’t always pay attention to when students get back. Kids do steal passes too. So from a safety and security standpoint, it’s way easier to know who should be in the halls and who’s not. It gets rid of a lot of paper passes that we didn’t need and the nasty business of sharing these passes,” Eiserman says.

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Teachers and other staff have tried their best to inform students and help them adjust to the online pass requirements. One of the first few days of school there were problems with lunch lines, though administration didn’t expect these things to go perfect the first time.

“I don’t like how the school went about the first day of school. They had the longest line to get into the lunch room just because you had to [have your ID looked at] to get into lunch.” Hardwood says. 

According to Esierman, any given day last year 20 to 40 students cut class. Attendance has been rough for MCHS this last year and a half. 

Eiserman states, “It helps manage class cuts traditionally, other than students showing up late for school, which is a big problem here. We saw most class cuts during lunch periods. All you have to do now is pull up your ID and it shows your lunch. We had a hard time figuring all that out in the beginning.”

Administration felt Minga and My Homework would be a good tool to help staff manage who is supposed to be in the halls or at lunch.“Kids would stay down [in the cafeteria] last year for three periods. It’s very hard to manage that. Who’s gonna take attendance at lunch?”¨ Eiserman Says. 

Many students are not happy by these changes, but as time goes by they have adjusted to the new requirements. Even teachers have become more acclimated to using the online pass system as opposed to traditional passes. 

Marla Currie, an English teacher at Upper Campus, says “I usually just trust that they filled it out. I usually check or I’ll just ask. I feel like the kids are getting used to it.” 

With both students and staff getting more comfortable with this new system it has become more efficient and effective in helping the school environment.