State College Area High School officials are looking to make the attendance system more efficient.
At the end of March, the school will implement a swipe card attendance system that will allow teachers to more easily track student attendance and provide a way to give them information.
It will be installed for the final quarter of this school year, and the plan is to have it ready for a final roll-out at the start of next year, Assistant Principal Curtis Johnson said.
“Hopefully it will go well, we’ll work out all the bugs and, for next school year, we can do the full implementation of the programs,” he said.
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The North and South buildings will have two stations with four lines that will require students to swipe ID cards at the beginning of the day. Teachers will still verify attendance during classes to make sure the electronic records are accurate and that students aren’t cutting classes, Johnson said.
The entire system costs $12,460 and carries an annual price tag of $5,900 for software and system support, Business Administrator Randy Brown said.
Despite the large number of students in the high school, Johnson isn’t anticipating a problem with lines to get into the building.
He said the swipe only takes about a second, and student arrival is staggered because the buses don’t all get to the school at the same time.
The administration observed a Pennsylvania school with about 1,800 students that raved about the system and didn’t have problems with lines, he said, adding that it should translate favorably to the about 2,500 students at State High.
Johnson said the movement through the system is similar to swiping a card to enter a subway platform.
The system also will be able to deliver messages to students, which should limit the need to make announcements over the public address system. Nurses, administrators and guidance counselors can program a message telling a student to report to a certain location or meet with a teacher.