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Spring ISD Response
April 18, 2011
Spring ISD uses student ID badges with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology at 13 of its 36 campuses. The badges, called Smart Tags, are used at Cooper, Eickenroht, Hoyland and Major elementary schools, Bailey, Bammel, Claughton, Dueitt, Roberson, Twin Creeks and Wells middle schools, Spring High School and Carl Wunsche Sr. High School. Read More
Santa Fe ISD Takes A Proactive Stance On Safety And Security
Safety and security have long been a number one priority in Santa Fe ISD. “Providing a safe and secure environment for our students is our top priority,” according to Public Relations Director, Patti Hanssard.
District uses Smart Tags for student security, attendance
Walk down any hall on 13 selected campuses in the Spring Independent School District and one will see students wearing a distinctive ID badge that does a whole lot more than show the student's name and photograph.
The badges, called Smart Tags, use radio frequency identification technology to identify when the students get on and off their school buses and to locate where they are on their campus for safety purposes and attendance reporting.
In addition, a bar code on the back of the tag has made purchasing school meals in the cafeteria and checking out books in the library much more efficient.
"The system has enabled us to improve our attendance data-gathering processes, student safety and system efficiency," said Dr. Julie Guillory, student services executive director.
The web-based system produced by Wade Garcia & Associates was first piloted at Cooper Elementary School, Twin Creeks Middle School and Carl Wunsche Sr. High School from December 2008 through June 2009. It was expanded in 2009-10 to include Eickenroht, Hoyland and Major elementary schools, Roberson Middle School and Spring High School. This year the system was expanded again to include five more campuses: Bailey, Bammel, Claughton, Dueitt and Wells middle schools.
Since implementing the system, Spring ISD has recovered $194,000 in Average Daily Attendance funding that would have been lost if the district had not been able to verify the attendance of students who were at school but not in their classroom when attendance was taken.
RFID readers situated throughout each campus are used to identify where students are located in the building, which can be used to verify the student's attendance for ADA funding and course credit purposes. Students are required by law to attend a class 90 percent of the time in order to receive credit for the course, and the system can help verify eligibility.
RFID readers located on school buses verify when and where students get on or off their bus. Using RFID on buses is not a new concept for Spring ISD. The district had implemented its own RFID system for elementary school buses in 2004 and successfully used the system until the technology became outdated.
Christine Porter, associate superintendent for financial services, recalls an occasion when one of the campuses equipped with RFID readers evacuated the building during a fire drill. Although it was only a drill, it provided an opportunity to test the RFID system, which proved valuable when a group of students failed to evacuate.
"During an evacuation, being able to locate individuals who are still inside the school would be invaluable," Porter said.
Regarding "Tracking devices used in school badges" (Page A1, Oct. 11), it is important to debunk the myths that wrongly taint radio frequency identification technology. The myths are that hackers and stalkers can access personal information from tags using a portable reader and that the tags pose a health risk from electromagnetic frequency emissions.
RFID Used for Student Security and Attendance Reporting
Oct. 11, 2010
Walk down any hall on thirteen selected campuses in Spring ISD and you will see students wearing a distinctive ID badge that does a whole lot more than show the student's name and photograph. The badges, called Smart Tags, use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to identify when the students get on and off their school bus and where they are located on their campus for safety purposes and attendance reporting. In addition, a bar code on the tag has made purchasing school meals in the cafeteria and checking out books in the library much more efficient.