District implements swipe-in system for students returning from lunch or open study hall

by Sophie Yang, ’19

This school year, students who enter the building after 8:05 a.m. and before 3:05 p.m. must choose one of two entrances: the senior doors facing Brandon Road or the main office facing Ridgeview Road. There, door monitors require each student to scan his or her student ID on a magnetic stripe card reader. Students must also swipe their IDs when leaving the building.

Door monitor Ted Thompson works in front of the senior doors as two students pass by.

The swipe-in system is part of a new door monitor plan implemented by the Upper Arlington administration to track students within the building in case of emergency. According to principal Andrew Theado, this particular card reader system was chosen because it tracks students’ times of entering the building and links to Powerschool—eventually, it will be able to report attendance by the hour as required under the Ohio House Bill 410 passed in December 2016.

Door monitor Ted Thompson, who works the senior doors, said the process has run smoothly so far.

“I just scan their passes, make sure they’re going in the right direction,” Thompson said.

As part of the changes, the senior doors are now entrance-only during the 4th and 5th lunch periods. Students looking to leave through the senior doors must instead use the doors facing Brandon Road by room 130 where another door monitor supervises students leaving UAHS.

When many students enter at the end of lunch periods, the second door monitor moves to the senior doors. Thompson said the two machines are capable of scanning 500 cards each per minute, but the influx of students leaves a long line.

Junior Julianna Schlatter swipes her ID card at the senior doors.

As part of the new security system, UAHS also established a position for a local police officer at the senior doors. Officers sign up for the UAHS shift on a list and rotate in and out of the position around 5th period.

Retired Upper Arlington police officer Dan Linton, who continues to work as a reserve officer, has taken the UAHS position about four times this year.

“They’re hiring us extra special duty—just security before something goes wrong,” Linton said. “If [something] criminal happens, we take police action. If it’s a violation of school rules, we inform the school.”

Thompson said there have been no major complaints from students about the door swipe system.

“It’s normal human nature to [complain about] having to do something different,” Thompson said.