Printers increasing security

Printers Increasing Security

Ohio schools bring security innovations to students and teachers

Printers Increasing SecurityDayton Public Schools (DPS) cover about 53 square miles in Ohio. This school system is comprised of 30 buildings and special centers, with approximately 15,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school. As an urban district, DPS brings innovative students and teachers together to develop productive citizens, ready to serve their communities. Core to achieving this mission is ensuring that students arrive at their school and classes on time and ready to learn.

Student Check-in Process

DPS had a few sporadic ID system capabilities throughout the district; however, this made it difficult to implement standard process improvements that would speed up the creation of new IDs at the beginning of each school year. Additionally, DPS needed to expedite the check-in of tardy students, enabling them to arrive at their classes faster.

For managing tardy students, the schools traditionally used manual processes that used handwritten passes, but these were inefficient. Seeking to streamline the process, the school district needed to institute a universal, mandatory student ID system that allowed for the improvement of student attendance across the district while enhancing the security of its students and visitors.

While attending the Ohio eTech conference in early 2011, DPS learned about PlascoID, an authorized HID Global Fargo integrator and leading provider of card-based ID systems. PlascoID demonstrated HID’s Fargo desktop card printers and their automated student tracking management system, PlascoTrac, as a possible solution to the challenges DPS was facing. Because the printers and software integrated seamlessly with eSchoolPlus, the school system’s existing web-based, student-information system, DPS selected PlascoID to help streamline its attendance processes.

Chosen Hardware and Software

HID products, including the DTC4500 card printer/encoder, non-technology cards and Asure ID Enterprise card personalization software, were recommended by PlascoID to support the creation of efficient, multipurpose IDs. This software would enable the school system to create customized student ID cards, while the printers would allow campus officials at each school location to instantly issue all student IDs. The printer’s modular design and small footprint also were ideal features for the school environment, where space is at a premium.

Prior to the start of the 2012 school year, DPS implemented the solution in just two weeks, installing the PlascoTrac system with 31 DTC4500 printers and Asure ID Enterprise software to be used on the first day of the new academic year.

With the new DTC4500 printers and Asure ID software, DPS can now:

  • Print a high volume of cards at fast print speeds. Every year, 15,000 IDs are needed by DPS during the first week of school. The DTC4500 meets this challenge by quickly and reliably producing large quantities of cards with high-quality images. Able to withstand the day-to-day wear and tear by students, these new IDs are now also uniform in image quality, design and durability.
  • Save money and training time. The modestly-priced DTC4500 has an intuitive set up and is easy to use. Already optimized for organizations like DPS, the printer is a high-security, high-performance ID issuance system that does not require large capital investments or extensive training by system operators.
  • Prepare for future ID card needs. The DTC4500 is field upgradeable. As DPS student ID system changes and evolves, the school system can modify their printers to fit new requirements.
  • Achieve multiple uses with a single software application. With Asure ID Enterprise software, DPS is able to easily design card templates, enter student data, create photo ID badges and use.

Badging Every Student

With this combined solution from PlascoID and HID Global, DPS can now easily and quickly provide all students with IDs during the first week of the new school year. And if a student loses his or her badge, or a newly-enrolled student needs an ID, a replacement can be created and issued that same day.

The newly-designed DPS student ID is a white card featuring the district’s logo and mission statement. Visual security elements include a large, color photo of the student and his/her name printed in large font on the front of the card, so school staff can easily identify students. The ID also includes a barcode that is used with the PlascoTrac system, so when a student arrives late to school or is tardy to a class, his or her badge is barcode scanned into PlascoTrac and a tardy pass is printed automatically.

With this new student ID system, processing tardy students now takes 25 to 35 percent less time than before.

found that the new HID and PlascoID solution gives even greater functionality and versatility. Some schools within the district have tied the new ID cards to their media center for checking out books and tracking lunches purchased in the cafeteria. Elementary schools are exploring ways to use the IDs to encourage positive reinforcement of good behaviors.

This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Eric Widlitz is Vice President of North America Sales for Vanderbilt.

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