Raptor Technologies recently acquired SchoolPass. This acquisition promises to continue the positive impact the platform is making on schools by making data easier to collect and monitor in real-time and digitally transforming school operations.

The digitalization of critical campus data can help schools focus on emergency prevention by using automation, while thousands of administrative hours can be deployed to much needed educational matters and helping students. Such a platform can provide more real-time awareness of who is on campus, from students and staff to visitors and parents, and it includes information such as who these individuals are and if they should actually be there.

Creating a frictionless link between parent, student and attendance data allows school communities to create and manage a single “active” attendance record for every student from the time they arrive on campus to the time they leave.

This process is driven by a paperless, uninterrupted flow of data which includes planned schedules, enrollment, changes and “last seen” campus scans in order to create official attendance records in an efficient and timely manner.

“With this digitized process, exceptions are now immediately available to potentially avoid emergencies,” says David Rogers, chief marketing officer at Raptor. 

Attendance automation provides a real-time, accurate accounting of where students are, especially during an emergency, and allows teachers to reclaim lost instructional time and remove administrative burden of manual attendance. The platform automatically merges parent and front-office attendance changes into the teacher’s attendance dashboard, with the aim of keeping students accountable by providing insight into truancy and hall pass activity and abuse.

Rogers explains “baseline” or on-campus attendance scans allow schools to know exactly who is on campus between morning drop-off and the start of the office school day.

A dismissal management feature ensures students are being dismissed with the correct dismissal option at the end of the school day, be it carline, walkers, bus or activities, and it keeps track of who has left the campus at the end of the day.

It also automates the parent pickup process, keeps track of students on buses and participating in activities, and keeps parents informed, especially when buses leave the campus and, optionally, when students are checked into aftercare or afterschool activities.

“School administrators have more timely data available about who is on their campus, especially during emergencies,” Rogers says, noting the ability to have parents schedule and manage future attendance changes via a SIS-connected school app.

He points out the various ways parents can receive attendance, and emergency and non-emergency messages from the school app as well.

“It also reduces the manual, error-prone way of managing student arrival, attendance and dismissal instructions,” Rogers says. “The applications can be further enhanced by ingesting historical movement and attendance data to highlight potential risks.”

He adds organizations such as the CDC, with whom Raptor has already engaged, would also be able to pull timelier K-12 attendance trends to detect potential regional wellness risk areas.

Robert Williams, Jr., a systems analyst and Raptor administrator for Memphis-Shelby County Schools, points out digitalization efforts help replace tasks like the primary pen-and-paper task of recording and providing late arrival tardy slips, which is a time-consuming procedure that reduced a student’s class time.

He says the initial stakeholder for implementing the digitalization project was the Department of Safety and Security, centered on visitor management and the sex offender alerts.

“Raptor’s tardy write-back to PowerSchool feature reduced workloads and increased office worker productivity, and having the ability to screen for potential sex offenders satisfied one of the district’s goals of providing safety for both students and staff,” he says.

He explains platform benefits further by sharing an easily identified advantage administrators received with digitalization, which is the electronic recording and retrieval of data points.

“Administrators replaced the volumes of sign-in notebooks used for school-based and district staff,” Williams says. “Finally, administrators can retrieve essential data points to monitor and manage staff attendance during the workday.”

From his tenure of two decades with the district as an IT professional across departments and as the project coordinator for the implementation of the Raptor system, Williams says the process of building a solid strategy begins with assembling an interdepartmental review team.

“This team can identify the capabilities of any automation and determine if the application meets both district and department goals,” he explains.

All-in-all, the schools using this technology will experience a safer and more efficient environment through real-time data collections and the automation of many tedious practices.