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Clarification to Recent News Story Regarding Student IDs

During the Tuesday, May 14, 2024 School Board meeting, RCPS staff and Zum, the transportation provider beginning with the 2024-2025 school year, made a presentation about a phased rollout of Student IDs for all students during the 2024-2025 school year. Before this presentation, WSLS (Channel 10) ran a story on Tuesday evening about the IDs that contained incorrect information. We have worked with WSLS to correct the story; however, as of Thursday morning’s newscast, there is still video footage in their story that is confusing, and we want to make sure our families have the correct information. 

Student IDs will only be used for identification purposes and to access services. To start, students utilizing school transportation will use IDs to tap in or out upon entering or exiting the bus. This will allow families to track the students' rides in real time. Ultimately, IDs will also be used to get lunch in the cafeteria, check out library books, log into learning platforms, and more.

The IDs will feature the student’s first name, photo, a bar code, and what resembles a QR code. Families will not need to scan the IDs to provide information, and no personal information will be accessible to anyone outside of RCPS who scans an ID card. It is important to note that current photos of the IDs, which were shared in the School Board presentation, are simply mock-ups and do not function as the IDs will when distributed.

RCPS’ Technology Department is currently working with RCPS leaders, schools, and related services to finalize a phased rollout plan. More information will be shared as it is finalized, and we anticipate that IDs will first be distributed to students who utilize school transportation and at the high school level.

To view the School Board presentation, advance to the 1:26:25 timestamp of the Facebook Live video of Tuesday’s meeting. The presentation includes information collected during the Student ID pilot, which was conducted at two elementary RCPS+ locations last summer and at Noel C. Taylor and Forest Park Academy during the fall, as well as information from Zum on how parents will be able to track bus rides beginning next school year.