John Amatruda, Executive DirectorDropping the kids off at school is routine; once there, the school is expected to ensure that each child is accounted for. In the case of Manchester High in Connecticut, the situation was significantly different. Their cafeteria couldn’t seat all the children at the same time due to spacing constraints and so had an open lunch arrangement wherein kids could go outside for lunch. As a consequence, some kids would sneak out and never come back as attendance was only marked once during the morning roll call. This was quite an alarming trend, as neither the staff nor the administration was able to track this level of “class-cutting.”
Enter Swipe K12—a revolutionary student monitoring system, which helps school administration ensure that kids stay in school and attend their classes. Swipe K12 ensures that each student is given an ID card with which they would swipe when entering or leaving school, whether for lunch or otherwise. Upon implementation at Manchester High, teachers were able to finally discover students who had swiped into school in the morning but were absent during the latter half of the day f rom their in-class Student Information System (SIS). Needless to say, kids were back in class, and the class-cut percentage had duly dropped by 75 percent.
Swipe K12 works in a variety of ways to capture student attendance the moment they walk through the door. The hardware is implemented as simple data collection stations—laptops and card scanners on portable carts. The carts are wheeled to entrances and the students arriving will get checked-in through several methods, by either swiping their ID card, punching in their ID number or by scanning their Swipe K12 smartphone app. And if none of these are available, the student can be manually entered by the staff at the entrance.
Once the students have checked-in in the morning, the real-time “teacher” module picks up from there, in the classrooms.
The idea is to help schools improve attendance since most kids are good kids and they stop cutting and being tardy once they start getting caught
It is a web-based portal that teachers can log into and check the attendance for the class. So instead of having teachers take attendance from scratch, they can simply look on the screen and see if everyone is accounted for and the attendance marked is accurate. But in the eventuality that a student marked present is missing from class, the next day when that student is present, the system alarm will go off and print out the class(es) they had cut. This report can be viewed by teachers, parents, or administrators once they sign-in, and parents can also sign in remotely, for free SMS or E-mail notifications. “The idea is to help schools deal with this behavior since most kids are good kids and they stop doing this once they get caught,” notes John Amatruda, executive director at Swipe K12.
Expanding upon the functionality, Swipe K12 is planning on going paperless with the ID cards. Swipe K12 is also looking to go in at the elementary school level and fully integrating a web-based classroom attendance system. They also aim to do away with passes altogether, and to that end, have developed amobile app-based electronic pass. The e-pass lets students scan in, with their attendance criterion—regular, late, tardy, etc.—displayed directly on the app, which they can just show to their teachers for verification. Swipe K12 thus expects the smartphone to play a more prominent part in the middle and high-school levels in the near future and hopes to meet its aimto keep kids in school—in better and more innovative ways.