New hallway sweep program is in action at North Penn


Kate Miller

Students make their way through the halls of North Penn High School.

TOWAMENCIN – Do you know someone still lurking in the halls? Taking fifteen-minute bathroom breaks? Well, consider those days gone because hallway sweeps are in session.

Within the past three weeks, North Penn High School staff has implemented a new policy called a hallway sweep. The hallway sweep is designed to keep the number of students skipping classes or abusing their passes lower while prioritizing their educational time and safety.

“We look at all the data that happens in the school, so we look at the number of class cuts we’ve seen, we look at the number of students misusing passes, and we saw that there was starting to be an uptick in the numbers,” North Penn principal, Kyle Hassler, explained.

The idea had come about through the collaboration of many teachers and administrators within the building. Schools across the country have been faced with similar attendance epidemics, but the answer remains a mystery. Staff and administrators hope this is the long-awaited answer they have been looking for.

“We got together with teachers at a professional development day, and we started to brainstorm some ideas of how we can really ensure that students are where they’re supposed to be and in class so that they get as much academic time as possible and also how do we keep the hallways safe?” Hassler said. “I actually went to a conference at the same time and heard about another school that was doing the same exact thing that was just suggested, so we decided to try it here.”

As it debuted on our weekly Friday Morning Show, the hallway sweeps consist of teachers, administrators, and security to ensure enough staff members to handle anything that comes their way.

“There’s an administrator who’s the leader for each team, and then they pick the time and location that they meet and kind of just lead the entire group of staff through the hallways checking passes,” Hassler commented.

Some students ask, “why are we doing this?” The answer is simple: to prioritize students’ educational time for safety and safety. The process is new and still working out, but administrators say they can already see its effectiveness.

“Especially during the lunch periods, we’ve seen a lot fewer students in the hallways, and the one thing that I’ve known and other teachers have mentioned to me is that now as we see students in the hallways, they’re already reaching in their pockets to show us their pass,” Hassler explained. “I think that there was a culture of not having to show your pass while you were in the hallway, and if somebody stopped you, you walked right past them because nobody asked to see a pass, and what we have seen now is students have gotten into the routine that if an adult in the hallway asks where you’re supposed to be, they have a pass ready to show.”

The process is completely randomized. Due to our school being so large, it is impossible to have eyes on every part of it constantly. The hallway sweeps are organized so that every week a different group of staff members watches over another part of the school at a different time than the previous week to keep students on their toes.

“It’s a huge school, so it’s impossible to always have eyes on every part of it, but part of what we do is we do have cameras and security throughout the building, and we have somebody to monitor the cameras to ensure that students are where they’re supposed to be or if they are congregating in sports where they’re not supposed to be,” Hassler said. “With the randomness, we try to hit every part of the school, so students know that we’re monitoring every part and gives the feeling that we’re monitoring it at all times.”

As such a high-achieving school, North Penn is highly sought after and respected amongst schools across the state. By prioritizing students’ safety and education through the hallway sweep initiative, students and staff hope to see a new future in education at our school.

“I hope that holding students more accountable for using their passes and class cuts has the impact of having students in class more,” Hassler conveyed.