Westbury Public Schools in suburban New York City needed to improve its attendance reporting. What’s unusual about this district is its high mobility rate; 20 to 25 percent of students leave school for weeks or even months at a time. The district needed to improve its attendance rates but was also mandated by the state to track seat time for all students as part of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) for teachers. The review uses a seat time mandate to calculate each teacher’s responsibility for a student’s performance.
In response, Westbury Public Schools decided to adopt contactless Smart ID cards and smart software data tracking to collect attendance data. When students enter middle and high schools in the mornings, they simply tap their cards onto portable kiosks. If a student is absent, their parents are automatically notified.
The district, too, can collect data from smart technology and use patterns discovered to make recommendations to improve attendance. One very strong option to use for your campus is ScholarChip’s smart software technology program with Smart IDs. When implementing this system, students cutting class dropped by 80%, and class attendance improved across multiple school campuses. What’s more, the district met APPR’s rigid reporting requirements and ensured that teachers were able to account for seat time accurately.
With attendance and accountability benefits like these, more and more districts are adopting smart software technology and ID programs. What is the most significant benefit? Smart technology software simplifies accurate data collection required by reporting programs like the APPR.
Reasons for Reporting Requirements
Within District and state-wide, student reporting requirements are growing more and more stringent. This is due to the fact that school’s need to update themselves in order to keep up with the needs of their students and staff.
For one, attendance is one of the first and best predictors if a student is on track to pass on to the next grade level, and later to graduate. Take for example, the fact that chronic absenteeism is so prevalent in today’s society and has a strong correlation to dropping out of school. Regularly missed school days become even more of a problem as students get older, with a high correlation to not finishing high school.
What’s even more important to consider is that a student’s attendance and whereabouts must be monitored in case of emergency, be it inclement weather or an active threat. If a school cannot report on their student’s attendance or absence from school, they may face harsher repercussions. Being able to streamline a procedure across your school campuses is a very valuable tool.
Although, not directly related to attendance, another simple way to focus on school safety is to limit entry points; the fewer the entry points, the easier they are to monitor. Campus Safety Magazine suggests that visitor management systems at these single or few entry points ensure that schools will always know who is on campus at a given time. This is important for the safety of students.
Smart Technology with a Simplified and Streamlined Capability
Though there’s no denying that collecting and reporting data is essential. Schools without smart software technology have more difficulty with accurate and non-disruptive attendance-tracking. Many schools still use old bubble attendance sheets that teachers have to feed into a machine. School officials will then have to manually call the parents of the children that are absent and notify them. This can be time consuming and taxing on the day-to-day routine of school officials.
Without smart software technology, teachers must take time away from their teaching to mark attendance of no-shows or late attendees. With smart technology though, students can tap their cards on attendance kiosks in order for their attendance to be recorded in a particular place. Teachers can now focus on the more important aspects of their job, instead of having the babysit students.
At the same time, students need to be accountable if they are responsible for tracking their attendance. By being able to utilize smart ID cards with smart card readers, students that are absent will flag the system to notify the parents. Thus, there are no more students who hope that their absence or tardiness may be overlooked by the instructor. Instead, they must attend class – on time – with the tap of their smart ID card.
Because of the benefits of regular attendance – and the severe consequences of irregular attendance – more districts are requiring accurate attendance data reporting. The Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to report on chronic absenteeism in its districts. Chronic absenteeism is defined as students who are absent more than 10 percent of the time.
ScholarChip’s Smart Software Technology
With the increasing demand in accurate data collection and the need to raise attendance rates throughout school districts, a smart choice would be to utilize ScholarChip’s technology services. Their smart ID cards and smart card readers are the foundation to a great start to reducing chronic absenteeism with students. These smart ID cards help identify students on field trips, events and class.
ScholarChip is an all-in-one, platform solution to help reduce school threats and address the important issues surrounding school safety. Data from students, faculty, and stakeholders are leveraged to manage school access, attendance, and behavior management through the platform tools to increase safety and promote the campus climate schools are looking for.
If you would like to learn more about your next steps in improving attendance across your school campuses and how you can implement ScholarChip’s services, feel free to schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our solution engineer today!