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Fingerprint scanner at FAE increases efficiency, accuracy in lunch program

April 11. 2014 9:39AM
For the last month the Brandon Valley School District has been testing the viability of using biometric scanners to charge lunches at Fred Assam Elementary. The scanner uses a studentís finger to quickly identify the student and charge the meal to that studentís account. The system does not use or store the actual fingerprints but instead uses an algorithm that measures unique aspects of each personís finger. The system has increased efficiency in the lines and also increases accuracy.

The old system required students to enter a four digit PIN to charge their meals. It was possible to enter an incorrect number and inadvertently charge the meal to the wrong account. While the district is always willing to correct these errors after the fact, it does unnecessarily complicate the recordkeeping process and certainly frustrates parents when they see charges that were not made by their child. The new scanner is quick and accurate so lines move faster and incorrect charges are eliminated.

Parents at Fred Assam Elementary were given the option to use the new process or stick with the PIN system. So far only one parent has chosen not to make the switch to the more accurate system. We will continue to evaluate the implementation of this system but, based on current experience, it is likely the district will expand this technology into other buildings next year.

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