The idea of RFID in student ID cards is becoming more and more prevalent. The reasons are numerous. RFID allows a school district to improve attendance gathering processes, student safety, and system efficiency.

One Houston area school district has recovered $194,000 in Average Daily Attendance (ADA) since implementing their RFID program in 2009.

A San Antonio area school district, implementing such a program in a pilot of two campuses this upcoming school year, estimates it will receive $1.7 million this year with a more accurate higher attendance count and Medicaid reimbursements for busing special education students. And that’s just in limited release – with full implementation into their more than 100 schools that number will grow ROI significantly.

RFID can identify when a student gets on and off of a bus, both for regular bussing and any field trip. During a recent fire drill the RFID system identified a student who did not evacuate the building. Being able to know the exact location of each student during an emergency is invaluable. An RFID system can also improve the process of assigning students’ books, library check out and in, and even pay for school lunches.

Some people will inevitably voice privacy concerns, but these are unfounded as the recent schools to adopt the technology have discovered. Students are only tracked on campus and when they get on and off buses. There is no additional information about the child on the RFID chip. The chip only stores a reference number, with actual student information stored at the school’s main database with secure access by a limited number of administrators. If someone on the street had a reader it would only record a series of numbers. And if someone has access to the school’s administrative computers to make use of the RFID chip’s reference numbers, then the data are already fully compromised, and there are much deeper security issues in play at that campus.

While funds are shrinking, RFID in student badges provides a huge opportunity for a school district to take advantage of existing income opportunities. In addition, the same RFID back office system can be utilized to track furniture and equipment, not only for location, but for ageing and warranty as well as maintenance scheduling.

If you are interested in exploring any of these ideas for your district please call Steve Young, 281-844-1259.