If you're looking to improve the overall level of security for a school, implementing a photo ID program is a great first step. Of course security is just one of many benefits school ID cards provide. Today's school ID programs dip into a wide variety of applications, from identifying students and faculty, to tracking time and attendance, managing student meal plans, and even controlling access to school facilities. An effective ID program not only helps you maintain a safer school environment, but it also provides students with a great deal of convenience when you consider the myriad of functions a single card can perform.
At its core, a photo ID quite literally serves to identify the person carrying the card. This is most certainly the case in schools, where students, faculty, staff and visitors are often issued ID cards as a way to increase security, along with many other uses.
Staff and Faculty IDs
Issuing photo ID cards to teachers and staff serves a number of important functions. For starters, it makes it obvious that they are employed by the school and belong on the premises. And the ID cards, when worn visibly, also allow students and visitors to quickly spot teachers and authority figures when they need their assistance.
Visitor Badges / Temporary IDs
A visitor management system is a great way to secure your school from the outside-in. By printing and issuing temporary badges to all guests, you can ensure that only those who have registered at the front desk are free to walk the halls. This prevents random, potentially dangerous intruders from gaining access to the school, and it allows you to keep a record of those who are visiting. Visitor badges work to improve the overall security level of your school, while also offering protection in liability cases.
It's now commonplace for student ID cards to be linked to in-school library systems. For colleges and universities, secondary and even primary schools, students can use their ID cards to check out books, media materials, and other library items with either the swipe of a magnetic stripe, or the scan of a barcode.
Another common application for student IDs is managing meal plans. Typically the student signs up for a plan that covers a certain number of meals per day. Every time the card is scanned or swiped, another meal comes off the books. Some school IDs also provide debit-like functionality, allowing students to purchase meals at participating restaurants both on and off campus.
ID cards can significantly improve the ease and accuracy of attendance tracking. By having students carry readable IDs into the classroom, it's possible to keep up-to-date records of who's showing up to class. Sure beats a daily roll call.
For many schools, ID cards often serve as a student's ticket into sporting events and other school functions. It's a common sight for high school kids to flash their student IDs for free access to cultural and sporting events. And many colleges and universities are now linking student IDs to payment programs for football and basketball tickets. Other events such as guest speakers and campus functions also typically require students to show their IDs for entry.
Card-based rewards programs are a great way to encourage school spirit, and increase student participation in school events. Some universities now have programs in which prizes are given away or raffled off to students who attend a certain number of campus events. By scanning cards upon entry to these events schools can keep an accurate record of student participation, and reward those who are active on campus.
Payment for Everyday Services
On many college campuses, students can now use their ID cards to pay for such common services as printing, making copies, doing laundry, and grabbing snacks from vending machines.
School ID cards can go a long way in helping to control access to school facilities and restricted areas. Basic photo IDs alone make it obvious who is authorized to go where on school grounds, while more advanced card technologies can provide such sophisticated functionality as keyless entry to specific buildings, sensitive areas, and student dormitories.
With today's ID card technology, it's possible to store electronic records, such as class schedules, on student IDs. This can come in handy for maintaining an accurate transcript of classes taken and credits received. These records can be stored on student ID cards with 2D barcodes, magnetic stripes, or more advanced technology such as embedded smart chips.
Integrating ID cards with school parking is another way to enhance card functionality. Some schools allow students faculty and staff to park in special lots while using their school ID cards to gain access, or in some cases, to pay for parking.
It's very common for colleges and universities to incorporate student and staff ID cards with public transit systems. Some transit systems allow students to board busses and trains by simply showing their student IDs. Other times the cards are linked to a fare payment system, and must be scanned or swiped.
Emergency Contact Info
With emergency contact info printed on the back of school ID cards, students are able to quickly get in touch with campus security or police in times of need.
Personalized Medical Information
Students with specific health issues can have their personal medical info stored on their IDs. This can prove critical in cases of medical emergency where every second counts, and is applicable to students of all ages.
Obviously there are a lot of options when setting up a school ID program. Determining how basic or complex the program should be depends entirely on the specific needs of your school. With so many possibilities, mapping out your plan should be the fun part, and we'd like to help. If you're setting up a new school ID program, or simply wish to extend the functionality of an existing card system, please give us a call or drop us an email. iSchool TT's experienced sales team will be happy to help you find the perfect solution.