Announcements regarding the reopening of schools have begun to appear regularly throughout the US. These decisions are driven not only by changing circumstances, but increasingly by an awareness that there are solutions available that will help to manage the reopenings in the safest way possible.
The conversation surrounding the return to normal school operations has also included strategies that address short-term concerns while continuing to deliver long-term benefits in the form of the ability to provide a working and learning environment that teachers and students can trust.
Attendance tracking prior to COVID-19 provided the means to tell how often students were present in the classroom and, in many cases, identify absences and potential problems that could lead to decreased educational performance.
Now, it means so much more.
At Kontakt.io, we collaborated with Avenues: The World School, Degree Analytics and Cisco Meraki to help validate students' social distancing efforts through contact tracing. This high-level case study has helped provide us with deep insights into how students are managing the challenges associated with the COVID-19 crisis, including how they are maintaining social distancing. But most importantly these solutions needed to be implemented in a short time, but are now showing a path to long-term benefits in the education sector.
Want to hear more about this project and learn how location services open a path to modern and safe workplace and learning environments? Sign up to our upcoming live webinar here.
Avenues: The World School in New York has created a structure where specific students and teachers are assigned to specific pods in the building. These pods are assigned to specific rooms, and they must remain in those rooms throughout the day. They have an existing Meraki infrastructure, Kontakt.io BLE Card Tags, and Degree Analytics software solution which have provided vital information regarding location data.
Through careful analysis, we have been able to determine not only where students and teachers are supposed to be, but also any abnormalities in the location of students and staff. This information is essential when a positive case is found in the building. As a result of these tracking options, Avenues: The World School has been able to remain open in spite of public schools being shuttered. It also has a lower positivity rate than the average across NY public schools.
Contact tracking offers a number of advantages for any school--including advantages that may last long after the pandemic comes to an end.
With contact tracing solutions, including Smart Badges, you can determine:
How many students and teachers faced exposure to an individual with COVID-19. You can easily see how many students may have been affected, which can help you make better decisions about when to shut down your classroom, when to offer deadline extensions, and how long students need to quarantine.
Who may have been exposed. Not only do you need to know how many people may have been exposed, you may need to see who, specifically, was exposed to COVID-19. This can be achieved with Kontakt.io Infrared-equipped Smart Badges, allowing you to more easily identify, with room-level accuracy, potential contacts and quarantine students and teachers as needed. Note that only authorized personnel can access the IDs of staff or students.
This allows the administration to easily determine when teachers and students are in atypical areas of the building. Now, they can quickly track all exposures, not just the ones where those individuals may spend the majority of a typical day. This might include a teacher subbing in a different classroom or visiting with a colleague as well as students traveling through the building.
Also, Kontakt.io’s Portal Beam can use existing infrastructures to monitor occupancy of physical spaces, enhancing safety and providing insights into how space is used. It also makes it easier to evacuate spaces in case of emergency, remotely check room availability and better allocate resources according to real needs.
What spaces are students actually using on a regular basis? Which spaces see the most use? Where do you need more room? This could help you determine which common spaces are important to your school as well as helping you determine where you may need to have additional options available for students, especially as you allow options for social distancing throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Pre-order our Portal Beam Starter Kit to start monitoring the occupancy in your building!
When students go back to school without the right attendance and contact tracking solutions in place, it can lead to significantly increased outbreaks and greater risk to students and faculty alike. Kontakt.io's location services integrate seamlessly with Cisco Meraki, the wireless access points most often used by colleges and universities. To listen to an in-depth discussion on how BLE technology allowed Avenues: The World School to remain open during the pandemic and opened the path to further innovation sign up for our webinar today.