Missouri District Pilots RFID Door and School Bus Access
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A 1,400-student Missouri school district is trying out technology for hands-free door and vehicle access. Hollister R-V School District is working with Tuxen & Associates, a nearby distributor for products developed by Netherlands security company Nedap. The school district has added Nedap RFID card reader technology to its doors and school buses, the latter for vehicle identification.
The doors at the district's schools use "uPass Access," a device that mounts on the locked side of a standard door. It integrates with "most" access control systems and reads access badges at a distance of up to six feet for hands-free building access.
"The addition of this technology combines the best of both worlds — free flow access and maintained security. It's common for teachers and staff to have a handful of items when approaching a door and having to search for and present an access card is both a hassle and a hazard. This eliminates that need," said District Superintendent Sean Woods in a press release. The "added convenience," he noted "has resulted in better compliance with our security protocols. In the past it was more common for teachers to prop open a door or hold the door open for others in order to either be polite or helpful. And while we encourage polite behavior, in this case it was circumventing our security policies. That is very important because the best polices in the world won't work if your people don't adhere to them."
The school system has also installed Nedap's long range vehicle access readers and tags for its school busses. The uPass Reach can identify a vehicle from 16 feet away, ensuring that as buses approach the vehicle yard gate, only authorized drivers are allowed to enter or leave the premises. The security system logs every event and documents which drivers are in which vehicles on any given day. The district is using the same system to stop vehicles under repair from leaving the yard before the maintenance work is done.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.