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School district turns to campus cards to track attendance

Jacksonville’s Duval County schools are set to deploy a new student identification system across its campuses that will facilitate attendance and tardiness tracking, among other infractions when the system goes live with the start of the next school year.

According to a report by The Florida Times-Union, each school in the Duval system currently purchases its own student ID cards and are far less utilized than they will be under the new system. The current student ID cards aren’t linked with the school district’s database but the new cards and system will link student IDs with district databases that report student grades, academic progress, discipline records and other data.

The new card system will take a few familiar concepts from the one-card formula seen on many college campuses. The new IDs will be used when students board and exit buses, swiping the cards on a reader or on a bus driver’s laptop. While on the bus, students that are deemed to have misbehaved can be electronically issued a referral for discipline via the new card system.

Bus integration will also notify parents of arrival times. This represents a significant upgrade over the previous system that knew which students were supposed to be on each school bus, but not which students were actually on each bus.

Upon arrival to campus, students will scan the new ID cards to register their attendance or denote tardiness. Middle and high school campuses will leverage the ID cards at each individual classroom, as well, where students will scan their credential to gain entrance and log attendance.

Students will also use the ID cards to pay for food at the cafeteria, check out textbooks or laptops, register attendance at school activities and events, as well as denote when a student leaves a classroom mid session.

Early estimates suggest the school district could save as much as $1 million over five years by moving to the new ID card system. The initial buy in for the system will cost the district $1.1 million, with each subsequent year costing the district $123,500, or a total of $1.6 million over five years. The old ID systems cost the school district $2.6 million over five years.

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