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Penn. high school uses student IDs to verify attendance

State College Area High School is now using school-issued IDs to log student attendance and record violations.

Beginning April 7, State College Area High School students will swipe their student identification card upon arriving at school in the morning. Curtis Johnson, associate principal at State High School North, insists the new system will improve the accuracy of attendance records and hopefully raise academic performance as students won’t be able to fake class attendance.

State College Area High School officials observed the system in action at another Pennsylvania school with about 1,800 students. The school in that case strongly recommended the system and reported no problems with lines at the card stations. The system is expected to be more than adequate to handle the roughly 2,500 students at State High.

According to the Centre Daily, there will be two card stations at each high school building where students will swipe their existing student ID cards and verify that they are in attendance. The system will then automatically send attendance records to teachers.

Moving through the new system will resemble swiping a card to enter a subway platform, with the swipe itself only taking about a second to register attendance. Teachers will still verify attendance during classes to ensure that the electronic records are accurate and that students aren’t cutting classes.

In the even a student swiped their ID at the start of the school day but does not show up for a class, a teacher will document the absence and the student will face the consequences for missing class. The next time the absentee student scans their card the station will print out a ticket alerting the student to the unexcused absence.

Per the system set forth by State College Area High Schools, the absentee student will then have 24 hours to rectify their unexcused absence with the teacher. If the absence remains unexcused, the student is given a detention.

In the same way the system can recognize unexcused absences, it can also notify students about appointments with teachers, counselors or school nurses.

The entire system cost State College $12,460 and will require a $5,900 yearly investment for software and system support.

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