Westerville schools test biometric scanning in cafeterias

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Some students in the Westerville City School District are saying goodbye to long lunch lines.

It’s just one of the benefits of a new student identification system being sampled.

The pilot program is underway at Pointview and Longfellow Elementaries as well as at Blendon Middle School.

Kari Dennis, Manager of Food Services for Westerville City Schools explains efficiency is a priority when it comes to lunchtime at the schools.

“We have a limited amount of time for lunch in a day and it varies from age group to age group. So we have a lot of kids to serve and that experience in their day is what’s important to me,” said Dennis.

Westerville City Schools is one of the first districts in Central Ohio to sample bio-metric finger scanning in the lunchroom setting.

Students at Blendon Middle School are already getting the hang of it.

“I think it’s just easier too because we used to do a lunch card system,” said Donovan Varney, a 6th grader.

Without lunch cards or lengthy student ID numbers to remember, students are finding the new routine much easier.

All the students have to do is place their finger on a scanner and his or her student account is retrieved.

“It scans the pad of the finger and we scan these two fingers, one for each side because some students will have one better than the other. So we scan the finger. It identifies unique pressure points or pad points and it saves those. It converts into a number and it’s stored in our district server,” explained Dennis.

Dennis says the elimination of lunch cards and ID numbers saves time and hassles.

“Kids would often play with them. Sometimes they would slide them into register vents. Sometimes they would crack in half and then it stops the line,” said Dennis.

District officials say if the new system proves to be a success it could be used in other areas of the school such as the library, such as the library.

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