High schools in the Orange Unified District of Southern California have implemented a new electronic tracking system called Plasco to promote punctuality. In October, these systems will officially start at high schools including Canyon, El Modena and Villa Park.
Plasco, founded in 1998, was created to track student behavior on campuses and improve attendance systems in schools. The system runs with a scanner attached to a computer. If students are tardy to class, their ID card barcodes are scanned and recorded. Detentions will automatically be recorded onto the student profile, and a phone call or email will be sent to notify the parents about their child’s attendance.
Studies have shown that Plasco significantly improved student punctuality at previous high schools that implemented the system. According to the Alta Loma High School Case Study from 2008, the average number of students late to their first period class dropped from 161 students to 25.
According to Plascotrac.com, Alta Loma assistant principal Cara Cerecerez stated in the case study that “[Plasco] has drastically improved student punctuality. The system is wonderful and adds a great amount of accountability as well as consistency for our students.”
Yet many students have different opinions.
“It feels like schools are slowly taking away student privacy,” stated Stephanie Lee, junior at El Modena. “Sometimes, things happen and students just end up arriving a couple minutes late to class. This new system may be effective, but it’s too disciplinary to start with.”
Despite objections, the district hopes to improve schools overall with the help of Plasco and cooperation from students and parents.