A picture of one of the passports that students now must have filled out and signed.
A picture of one of the passports that students now must have filled out and signed.

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SWHS Introduces Passports

Passports are a new Power Hour based system

March 17, 2017

Due to some problems occurring during lunch hours in Sedro-Woolley High School, we started the passports, a new power hour based system for students to be held accountable, and to start practicing planning skills.The idea started with school advisers like our principal, Kerri Carlton, and Dean of Students, Laura Schmidt.

Passports were started as a way to hold every student accountable in using their time wisely and to help students use that time to keep up grades as well as a way to keep power hour in the daily schedule.

Most students have enjoyed the power to choose where to go, but with that have come some problems.

“We found that the failure rates were still at close to thirty percent and that’s exactly what we had last year. So if we’re going to have power hour as an intervention to keep your grades up and there’s no change in failure rates, well then something’s not right in that equation,” Principal Carlton said.

The passports were created to help students thrive with power hour.

“We want to operate on a systems based approach that helps all students succeed. So, to try and prevent not taking power hour away, we wanted to then create a system so that students could still choose but are just accountable to that choice,” Carlton states.

So far this system has been beneficial to more than just students. “The lunch ladies have explained to us that the lunches are more balanced now,” Schmidt explains.  Students have now been more responsible for where they are going. “I think that the passports have forced some of the students to plan ahead and we have noticed by observation that there are less students that are just out and about and kind of wandering.”

As far as revisions are concerned, Schmidt has said that she has some ideas. “We’ve talked about putting a spot on there to show what your grades are so that you, as a student then, can see visually looking at, ‘Ok I’m struggling in math so I need to go to math.’ I just don’t know where we would fit it.” She has also said that they, “for sure welcome suggestions to change the passport paper.”

“The plan is to keep them through spring break, so that we will have three to four rounds through spring break and then we will assess how well it’s working and if it’s working. And if it’s helping a lot of people then I think we want to keep it,” said Schmidt. But beyond this, the future for power hour and the passports as far as keeping them indefinitely, is undetermined.

Students are so far doing very well to adapt to the passports. “I’m really proud of the students that are trying to do right by power hour. I’m very proud of the students for working through this process as we try to make sure that we keep our grades up and we keep our students moving in the right direction” says Carlton. The passport trial will continue to develop and change to accommodate to the students and the school, the future for this process in unknown, but we are for now keeping it to see what happens and people like Schmidt and our Principal are trying their best to find the best system to benefit everyone.

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