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Pennsylvania school district issuing smart cards from ScholarChip

Andrew Hudson   ||   Feb 08, 2019  ||   ,

Pennsylvania's Easton Area School District is set to expand its ScholarChip smart-card entry system to include campus visitors. The visitor management element joins area high school students who have been using the smart cards since the beginning of the school year.

As reported by Lehigh Valley Live, Easton Area High School students were issued smart cards at the start of the year and have been using them at school entrances to log their attendance and departures from campus.

ScholarChip offers a one card experience that's tailored to the K12 environment and has seen a number of large school districts across the country leverage its solutions. The company's Identity Management system folds in some utilities that are reminiscent of larger, more complex campus card systems at the university level, but Easton Area School officials have opted to deploy a seemingly more basic form of the solution by just logging attendance at the campus perimeter.

Where the school board drew the proverbial line with the system was at the classroom door. Initial plans for the deployment included card readers in each high school and middle school classroom, where they would be used to log individual class attendance. The reason for avoiding that implementation was a sentiment from some school officials that believed the technology could be too invasive and could turn schools into “cold institutions."

The next expansion of the ScholarChip system will see Easton Area Middle School students receive the smart cards as well as scan in at entrance kiosks. Additionally, the visitor management element of the system will be expanded to all area schools.

ScholarChip smart card features include:

  • MIFARE ISO 14443A (13.54 MHz) contactless credentials.
  • One Card is not proprietary. The credentials work with ScholarChip's School Safety and Operations System as well as third-party smart card services.
  • One Card can be issued as a dual factor card, operating as both a proximity and smart card.
  • Globally Unique ID (GUI) ID. Only one card is ever active, all previously lost or stolen cards are deactivated.
  • Standard CR-80, credit card size.
  • Integrates with legacy technology.

There are further plans to leverage ScholarChip in the district's bus system, enabling students to scan their smart card when they board and depart. The school district plans to have that feature live for the start the 2019-20 school year.

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