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School district implements onecard system for students

Andrew Hudson   ||   May 04, 2018  ||   

Greensboro, South Carolina's Guilford School District will issue onecards to all students for use when boarding school buses. The new onecard system is being implemented to boost security, as well as improve school officials' ability to maintain knowledge of student locations.

According to local CBS affiliate WFMY News, Guilford County Schools will issue all students a new student ID and onecard system beginning with the coming school year.

The onecard formula is nothing new, as higher education campuses have been leveraging and expanding on the technology for years. But with security concerns on the rise, the K12 environment seems to be coming around to the idea of a single credential to support student life.

“The OneCard has great implications for our schools,” said Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras in a release from the district. “Not only will it help us know who is in our buildings, it has the potential to provide students with a singular way to access materials and resources throughout the community.”

Beginning with the 2018/2019 academic year, the student ID cards will be used for all school bus boardings and exits to ensure students board the correct bus and leave at the correct stop.

The new ID cards will include students' photo, name, grade and classroom. Seven area schools will begin using the cards next year in with broader uses as part of a pilot program to determine how the system will be used going forward. The district says, in the future the card could be used to track attendance at all schools and be used for entry to sporting events.

At the pilot schools, the OneCards will also be used to monitor attendance. As part of the pilot program, the card can be scanned at the building entrance, in the school's office, the media center and the cafeteria. It can also be used for checking out library books and purchasing meals.

The district will test how well the usage works at the pilot schools and hopes to eventually roll out the broader program to all schools. School officials say the expectation will be that students carry the new cards with them at all times, with override procedures to provide access to buses and school buildings if a student loses the credential.

The student ID cards will be printed at a single, central location and then distributed to each school. The school board approved a contract with Synovia, a company that specializes in fleet tracking solutions, to assist with the installation and implementation process.

Guilford County Schools serves some 73,000 students. Between card issuance, equipment and necessary training for the pilot schools, the total up-front cost of the onecard system is $131,000, with a projected annual recurring cost of $79,015.

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