Founded in 1926, Greenwich Country Day School (GCDS) is a co-educational, independent day school with over 1300 students enrolled in grades nursery through 12th grade. GCDS prides itself in being a community-oriented school, and innovates pedagogical approaches to build an environment of engaged and joyful learners.
Like many schools, GCDS strived to improve the parent experience during drop off and pick up, a process that in the past naturally created traffic congestion, long wait times, and a chaotic environment. Dismissal wait times for the lower and middle school divisions could last north of forty minutes. Numerous other schools on streets neighboring their main N-8 campus dismiss at the same time, which used to create regular gridlock for families entering and exiting campus.
The school was using a microphone to announce names of students whose cars had arrived into the lower school building, which had limited range and disrupted all classrooms at the end of the day; the middle school had a similar microphone-based system.
Changes to dismissal schedules were recorded and sent into school on paper, where they would have to be manually entered by the administrative assistants, then the information would be relayed back to the classroom over loudspeaker, which was both disruptive and difficult to monitor.
In addition to tracking carlines for younger students, GCDS was also opening a high school division for the first time in its nearly one hundred years, and at the core of the new Upper School division was a student-centric curriculum. At every grade level, GCDS aimed to simplify the art of taking attendance, and turned to SchoolPass for a solution.
For the sake of efficiency, safety, and sustainability, GCDS wanted to find an electronic method of managing the attendance process, encourage parents to easily schedule students to ride buses or in carpools, and ultimately cut down on dismissal-based emissions.
- SchoolPass implementation at the Upper Elementary division: 300 student dismissals in under fifteen minutes.
- Average carline wait time:
- Before SchoolPass: 40 minutes
- After working with SchoolPass: 20 minutes
- Paper Dismissal Slips: 10,000+ eliminated annually
- Reduction of staff hours for manual data entry: 25 hours per week
The school installed SchoolPass ALPR (automated license plate recognition) cameras at every entrance and exit, and the parents’ license plates scanned by these cameras automatically displayed students’ names in their classrooms. This created an automated dismissal, a silent dismissal, and gave the school new security enhancements all in one system. Students could now focus on reading or quiet learning activities at the end of the day rather than be interrupted by loudspeakers.
SCHOOLPASS MOBILE APP
In addition, utilizing the SchoolPass mobile app enabled parents to report arrival and dismissal changes electronically, instantly notifying relevant teachers, staff, and administrators whenever a change was made. This system further cut down on loudspeaker announcements, and saved the school tens of thousands of “paper dismissal slips” and countless hours of manual data entry.
GCDS strives to give their students agency and teach responsibility, and they put attendance automation in the hands of their Upper Schoolers using the SchoolPass Visitor Management system. Students feel empowered to swipe their badge at these stations to record day-level attendance rather than be “pointed at” by a teacher at the front of a classroom, which makes them feel more engaged in the community and the academic program as a whole. The system automatically notifies staff and admins when students are out of compliance. Additionally, every division uses the SchoolPass attendance module to record day level attendance; this system accounts for student absence, late arrival, early dismissal, and even virtual learner status recorded by parents in the SchoolPass mobile app.
GCDS set out to optimize daily dismissal, and through partnering with SchoolPass, transformed campus into a physical demonstration of the school’s emphasis on sustainability, innovation, and design thinking. During the pandemic, the school was instantly prepared to account for wellness screenings and virtual attendance because they had already implemented the SchoolPass system. GCDS continues to exemplify the power of embracing big challenges, innovating without losing tradition, and turning every day into a learning opportunity.