Biometric Finger Scanning

At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the Shaker Schools will implement a biometric finger scanning identification program in school cafeterias. This new system will improve security for your child's cafeteria account, eliminate clerical errors and provide students an easy and fast way to identify themselves when using the cafeteria. This technology has been in use for 10 years in Ohio and in more than 1,000 school districts across the country.

What is biometric identification?
Biometric identification is an automated method of identifying a person. Our District has selected PaySchools biometric finger scanning identification software because it is fast, accurate, cost-effective and non-intrusive. Students simply press their finger to a scanner and move through the meal line.

Why are we using biometric screening?
School districts use biometric screening for several reasons. First, it is faster and more efficient than older systems and keeps cafeteria lines moving so students have more time to eat. Second, it avoids the issue of students losing or misplacing their ID card. Finally, scanning provides privacy because it is not obvious to other students or school personnel which students receive free or reduced meals.

How does finger scanning identification work?
Using a finger scanner, the software scans the fingerprint to create and store individual templates of unique points that identify each student. When the student returns, the software again scans the finger and looks for a match in the database. When a match is found, the student is identified.

Is this a fingerprint?
No. Fingerprint images are NEVER stored in the system, and therefore cannot be hacked or otherwise shared. The finger scan scanner simply creates a numerical representation through a series of unique points. There is no way a fingerprint expert or anyone else can take this numerical representation and reconstruct a fingerprint. In fact, the data collected from the scan is useless for any other purpose. At no time is a fingerprint image stored.  

What about my child's privacy?
The software scans the finger for identification. It does not store a copy of the fingerprints. Instead, the software creates a template of the unique fingerprint characteristics. These templates are stored in the school's database with the same high level of security of all of your child's records. When your child graduates or is no longer enrolled in the school system, the templates are deleted.

How do we know this works?
The Shaker Schools conducted a pilot of the finger-scanning identification during the 2016-17 school year. This included a school-wide pilot at Mercer Elementary. School personnel reported that lines moved more quickly than before.  

May I opt out?
Yes. Parents (or students 18 and older) may opt of the biometric system if they choose to do so. To opt out merely requires that one's finger scan not be taken.

Thanks for your support!
We hope you will find this new way of identifying your child to be safe, easy, accurate and efficient. If you have any questions, please contact the District Business Office at 216-295-1400. For more information about the finger-scanning process, click here.
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