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How Queensbury High School made big improvements in student accountability and dramatically decreased student referrals

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year-over-year reduction in student referrals for skipping class


students engaged in class, instead of hanging out in the halls or bathrooms


safer and more productive high school campus in upstate New York



Keeping students in class unless they have a legitimate reason to use a hall pass

Situated in the southern Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Queensbury High School (HS) serves more than 1,000 teenagers in grades 9-12. The school, located in the scenic town of Queensbury with a population of around 30,000, provides an extensive sports program to its students, as well as an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program.

Like many high schools, Queensbury HS has seen an increase in issues like vaping, secret meet-ups during class, and students skipping classes.

Their traditional paper hall passes weren't being used consistently, and were even being replaced with creative alternatives like stuffed animals. It was impossible to know for sure if students were authorized to be out of class or not without a confrontation.

The school was also seeing a rise in student discipline referrals, mostly because kids were skipping class. The high school's three-person administrative team, consisting of one principal and two assistant principals, couldn't be everywhere all the time. They needed a better way to keep their students in class and engaged in learning.



A digital hall pass formalizes processes and expectations, and provides the data needed to confidently address behavior issues

Assistant Principal Justin Lansely shares that his team was optimistic that the Securly Pass digital hall pass system would help them address their challenges. They were worried that staff would be resistant to the change, though.

To make sure they were prepared for teachers' objections and questions, they spent a lot of time training in Securly Pass before they implemented it. They also spoke with a neighboring school who was already using Pass to learn from their experience. "We created passes, we looked at the reporting options and the meet-up blocker, and we just messed around with it ourselves first," Justin says.

To prepare for their rollout at the beginning of the school year, the Queensbury team presented Securly Pass to their department chairs the month before school started. The department chairs shared it with their teachers next, then the whole faculty came together for a training, where they received a “cheat sheet” to help them get started.

He explained that with Securly Pass, when a staff member sees a student in the bathroom, they can check their phone and know if the student is approved to be there or not. There's no arguing. The student either has a pass or they don't. If they don't, they go back to class.

When one teacher questioned how a digital hall pass would stop kids from hanging out in the bathrooms and skipping class, Justin countered, "What's the alternative? To just ignore it and let them stay in the bathroom all day because they're already marked absent? Now, we can actually focus on these issues and address them."

Soon, the staff at Queensbury High School was experiencing for themselves how Securly Pass creates a more orderly environment and fewer negative interactions. Now, if Justin or one of his colleagues sees a student in the hallway or bathroom, they can quickly check the Pass app on their phone. Instead of having to question why the student is out of class or where they're going, they can confirm that the student has a hall pass and for what location. Justin explains,

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"Implementing Securly Pass has been a great experience overall. It's very easy to navigate and figure out. It's also easy to get buy-in from staff when it's a good product, and it does what you want it to do. It's made my job easier as an administrator, and it's improved relationships with teachers and students."

- Justin Lansely, Assistant Principal, Queensbury High School

Justin believes the students feel safer with Securly Pass, too. He explains, "Some kids don't feel comfortable going into a bathroom and seeing 15 kids overcrowded in there.
Also, there have been incidents where kids don't necessarily get along, and there's confrontation. They know that there's a system in place now to prevent this with Securly Pass."


Students are more accountable and spending more time in class, reducing student disciplinary referrals by more than 60%

With Securly Pass, Queensbury HS is able to limit passes so students can't plan meetups or congregate in the bathrooms. For example, Justin says they had two students who were a bad influence on each other and always trying to meet up. When the students tried to downplay the situation, Justin showed them the meetup report from Pass, which proved that the students had used hall passes at the same time dozens of times.

The reports from Pass are also particularly helpful when sharing concerns or defending disciplinary measures with families. Justin explains, "When I can use a report in a meeting with a parent, they're less likely to question me. And I don't need to get upset about anything either. I can just point to the report. The data's right there." He believes families also like it because “it makes them feel safer that we know where their kids are."

Among the most dramatic improvements Justin shares is a more than 60% decrease in student referrals, which were primarily a result of students skipping class. He attributes this to the increased accountability that's been created. He explains, "Students know we're gonna find out if they're not where they're supposed to be, so they may as well be honest with us." As a result, they spend more time in class and make better decisions generally.

By partnering with Securly, Queensbury HS is:

  • Keeping students in class so they're learning
  • Reducing student disciplinary referrals
  • Helping students and their families feel safer
  • Using reports and data to address problem behaviors
  • Creating a more positive and accountable culture

Justin says that implementing Securly Pass has been a great experience overall and teacher buy-in is strong. To ensure that remains true, he stresses the importance of reinforcing the positive. He explains, "We use the data and can say, 'These are the types of improvements that are happening because we're using Securly Pass. So keep using it. You're doing a great job with it.'"

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Maximize in-class time and regain control of your hallways

Securly Pass simplifies hall pass requests and approvals, and gives school administrators and teachers visibility into and control of pass usage to improve student accountability and strengthen school safety.

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