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Richmond Preschool Outfits Students With Tracking Devices

The Contra Costa County School District began introducing a new high tech tracking system for preschool students Tuesday that alert teachers when their students leave campus.

Embedded in what looks like a tiny basketball jersey that each student will wear when at school is a radio frequency tag that also uses Wi-Fi. The tag provides a signal to sensors planted throughout the school.

The information from those sensors is displayed in a map of the school, thereby allowing teachers and administrators to know exactly

Parents will digitally sign in and sign out a child, saving teachers from hand filing attendance records required by the state.

“Now, when we feed the children lunch we just have to push a button and it’s done,” said teacher Simone Beauford. “We don't have to check the papers, check the papers, check the papers…”

Sung Kim of the county's employment and human services department said 3,000 man hours could eventually be saved with this $50,000 system, which was paid for by a federal grant.

“Within a year we could completely pay off this system from the savings we have with the staffing,” said Kim. “We are the first child care center that is implementing with this technology, but it is already proven technology.”

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