Sumter, SC (WLTX) As South Carolina's Pilot School, Sumter High is the first in the state to implement Scholar Chip's Automated Attendance program. ID cards that were once a decoration at the school are now a necessity.
Britt Garris with Bridgeway Solutions is in charge of setting the system up and says it will take around four weeks before everyone is settled.
"It automatically sends to Power School that the child is present that day," said Garris. "Then what Sumter High School is going to implement is classroom attendance as well."
It holds them responsible for being tardy, the school's number one problem. Fall says instead of teachers writing slips, the system will automatically discipline students.
Using an iPad with a card reader on the back, teachers can sign children in as they enter the room.
Principal Dana Fall says it not only lets them know exactly who's in a room in case of an emergency, but it tells them who is missing.
"The teacher will know whether they checked into the school even if they don't show up for class they'll be able to see. If they're cutting class or anything like that, the teacher will know that they're in the building, but they're not with me," said Fall. "They're somewhere so she can alert administration and we can find them."
Hall monitors will be able to check if roaming students aren't where they should be. Fall and Garris say it's preparing students for life beyond the classroom.
"This way the responsibility is placed onto the student," said Garris. "This is something they're going to have to do when they go to college, when they get out into the real world. Most of us wear ID's to get into our own office buildings."
Fall says he hopes the entire district will eventually get the system. Once they do, it can be used to take bus attendance as well.
Once it's all set up, the system will track any late fees or dues the students owe. It can send them a reminder or message when they check in.
Fall says this is only a small part of what Scholar Chip can do.
Thursday was day one of the new system. 95% of students remembered their ID's, which Fall says is a major improvement.