ID Badge System Offers Security and Improves Discipline at Albany High School

Client:Albany High School, part of the City School District of Albany, New York, is a large inner city high school serving over 2,000 students.

Problem: In the school year 2007-2008, Albany High School was experiencing wide-spread discipline problems. The school made a decision to install a student point-of-access security system that would keep suspended students from the school buildings.

Solution: Working closely with Open Tech, a leader in the identification and tracking industry, the high school installed the company’s School Track system that requires students to wear an identification badge that is scanned upon entering the school.  If a student has been suspended, they are denied access to the school.

Results:  The system has been highly instrumental in solving the behavior issues and the administration and teachers are extremely pleased with the results. Additionally, since installing the system in 2008, the school has expanded its use to effectively tracking students who have detention and are tardy, as well as keeping track of students who need to meet with the principal.

Summary: With a student population of over 2,000, Albany High School realized that they needed to install a software system that would provide secure point of access to the school buildings in order to ensure student safety. During the 2007-2008 school year, the high school had experienced serious disruptions and behavior problems as a result of suspended students returning to the school. After researching several software options, the school turned to Open Tech, a leader in the identification and tracking industry, for the solution.

The School Track system, which has been specially developed for the K-12 environment, utilizes state-of-the-art technologies. All students at Albany High School are issued a bar coded identification badge at the beginning of the school year which is then tied to a comprehensive database providing immediate access to critical information. Once a student is enrolled, their activity history can be tracked. The system uses mobile hand-held scanning units located at all three school entrances. These units are directly connected to the database located on the school’s centralized computer system.

According to Mark Place, Chief Information Officer for the City School District of Albany, the benefits of the system have been huge. “We’ve experienced a huge drop in behavioral issues since the system was installed,” says Place. “And we’ve expanded the system to track students who have detention, are tardy, or need to meet with the principal.”

Another benefit is a comprehensive reporting system that can be accessed by the administration. The school is divided into four Academies and the reports can be generated for each Academy. Administrators can pull reports, such as a list of tardy students; status of detention; and students who have been scanned into the system on a particular day. The reports can also be customized to offer more detailed information, like the reason for detention or why a student couldn’t be admitted to the buildings.

“After six years of using the Open Tech system, the student climate has improved dramatically,” notes Place. “I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this solution to any school that wants to improve safety, security and student accountability.”