AHS to Implement Punch System for Campus


Mackenzie Conner

Seniors Maddie Dowley and Zac Storm leave AHS during their lunch hour.

Students at AHS have the freedom to come and go from the Aspen School District campus as they please, but over the summer, administration, including assistant principal John Bangley, has begun the process of implementing a new system to improve accountability.

Rather than allowing students to leave the campus without alerting anyone of their departure, a system will soon be put in place that requires students to record their exit and entrance movements. Chromebooks will be placed at doors around the school; students will enter their student identification number before they exit the building.

When Bangley introduced the idea to seniors at College Bootcamp, he said that the purpose of this system is to reduce the accountability risks the district may encounter in the wake of catastrophe that could potentially occur. When students punch in their student ID number, a timestamp will be recorded and logged in the system.

“ I think that they’re [administration] trying to find a middle ground, where they don’t want to take away our open campus because they know that’s something that all the students appreciate,” Head Boy Victor Dunn said. “They’re letting us be, but they’re also trying to understand when we’re gone.”

In the event of tragedy on campus, AHS administration would need a system in place, to confirm that all students are accounted for. Should there be a student who is unaccounted for, school and local officials would have that information sooner, and the problem could be resolved faster.

Bangley anticipates some resistance, but he emphasized the importance of participation.

“I know it’s a hassle in a way, but for those major issues [emergency situations] it’d be good for us to know who’s not here,” Bangley said. “I would appeal to the students to do the responsible thing (…) just to help us be more accountable as a school community.”

While some students may oppose the idea, others believe that it is a proactive step if used properly.

“I don’t understand why students would have a hard time doing this because it’s pretty basic,” Dunn said. “I can understand how it might be invasive, but it’s just a way for the school to understand when you’re [students] going.”

The implementation of the punch in/out system logs will only be looked at to input data and in the case of disaster. The system will not be used to address truancy issues, as attendance will still be taken at all classes.

“Those who have stuff to hide are going to think that we are invading their privacy. I don’t have to time to see who is coming and going. I really don’t care who is coming and going because you have an open campus. It’s free to come and go, so again the only thing that I’m concerned about is if a tragic thing happened, we need to know who’s not here or who is here,” Bangley said.

As the rate of tragedies in schools are on the increase, many schools are taking precautionary actions to increase safety. While districts move through this process, many questions and unforeseen circumstances may arise; however, the implementation process has started, and therefore results are that much closer in sight.