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Middletown Public Schools implement new ID system to track students' attendance

Kiosks are located at the high school and middle school where students tap their ID cards as a way to enhance security and track attendance.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — A new electronic system for Middletown Public Schools called ScholarChip was implemented last week. 

It is meant for teachers and parents to keep track of who is in the building and whether students showed up to their classes.

There are roughly 1,300 students at Middletown High School and up to 800 students at Beman Middle School. All of them now have the daily responsibility of bringing their new ID card to school. 

 "It’s able to scan two lines at a time. The students touch their ID barcode to the system and their picture pops up and it gives all kinds of information," said Jason Serra, assistant principal of Middletown High School. 

At the high school, there are four kiosks. Two are located at the bus loop, one is in the main office and one is at the student-parent drop-off. 

Serra said the new system has been well received by students as they are now required to wear their new lanyard and ID all day. 

"When we’re greeting somebody by name, it starts off their day on a great note, we give them a big smile," added Serra. 

The kiosk, however, offers more than just a student's name and picture. It also keeps track of each student's attendance record, it contains real-time data, payments can be made on it and student activity can be monitored such as making sure students are going to their individual classes. All of this information can be accessed by teachers and parents. 

Serra also told FOX61 chronic absenteeism is no doubt an issue every school district has faced since the pandemic, but he has noticed improvement since ScholarChip was implemented. 

"Now that the students know we’re monitoring them, it’s more of an accountability," added Serra. 

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According to the ScholarChip website, each kiosk can scan up to 25 cards per minute versus typical classroom attendance is taken in under two minutes. 

"Safety, knowing where they are. Attendance, knowing that they're in school," said Jessie Lavorgna, director of communications for Middletown Public Schools. 

With hopes to start next month, students will also be able to tap into their individual classrooms to ensure they are going to all of their classes.  

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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