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Galesburg District 205 to buy attendance scanners, tardy kiosks

Jane Carlson

Teachers taking attendance at the beginning of every class period will soon be a thing of the past at Galesburg Junior Senior High School.

Galesburg District 205 will spend $89,333 on technology to automate attendance-taking and tardy passes, all through bar codes on student ID badges.

The district is buying 116 keypads with barcode scanners to be installed in classrooms for the SchoolTRAK Positive Attendance system.

“Students will come in each period and they will scan into the classroom. That takes full attendance. So the teacher will no longer have to take physical attendance, which will help save instructional time,” said Jennifer Hamm, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

In addition, the district will buy five Tardy Kiosks for grades five through 12.

Those will change what students do if they’re late for class – and cut down on the amount of time students are out of class when tardy.

“Instead of going to the main office and probably wasting half the class period to get a pass to get back to class, we’ll have these strategically located throughout the building,” Hamm said. "You’ll literally go and scan your badge and the tardy kiosk will print you out a tardy pass, and then that information goes to the Deans.”

The district plans to issue students two ID badges each so if they forget one at home, they have an extra hanging in their locker and can still scan into class.

Hamm said the district initially got a quote two years ago for the system, but needed to upgrade to a newer version of Skyward before it would be compatible.

She said the price of the system actually went down since the initial quote.

The school board approved the purchase at its regular meeting this week.

Board member Pamella Bess-Tabb said she was one of the board members who requested the system and believes it will save time.

“Teachers are having to do a lot less with this,” she said.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.