Minga app to serve as digital ID

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photo by Areli Smith

Starting this week, digital IDs will be issued to all students on campus. The digital ID will serve as a new safety feature, showing things like the current time, the student’s ID number, and what grade they are in.

Walking onto campus before your first class, the personnel at the door ask for your ID. You search through your backpack but cannot find it and realize you have not seen it since your teacher handed IDs out at the beginning of the year. 

With the new digital ID system, this will no longer be a problem. 

Once students receive an email at the end of the week from principal Robert Frasca, they will have to download the Minga app on their phone to gain access to their live ID.  

The digital ID will serve as a new safety feature, showing things like the current time, the student’s ID number, and what grade they are in. In addition, ID’s in the Minga app will show what periods a student is supposed to be off campus and what periods they are supposed to be in class. 

“[We are] always looking for ways to improve safety and security on campus,” Frasca said. “Being able to kind of know what’s going on and how many kids we have in a class at certain times will help us.”

Dean Stewart Photography, the company that takes students’ yearbook pictures, also uses Minga. Frasca wanted to use a system that was already known, and so he worked with DSP, Seminole County and school administration manager Jason Maitland to get everything in order.

Overseeing the process, Maitland worked directly with DSP last semester to get everything rolling. Maitland has been troubleshooting and fixing glitches in the system, and while the rollout will not be perfect, he feels certain that by the time next school year comes, everything will be fully functioning. 

Approval from the district was needed before anything could be put in place for digital IDs. This held up Frasca from distributing it earlier in the year, as he had to make sure student data was protected first.

“We can’t ever use an app and tell you to download an app without making sure that all of those pieces and protections are legally in place,” Frasca said. 

In the future, Frasca hopes to use Minga as a hall pass system, where students can input where they are going and their teacher can approve it on their computer. 

“Hopefully there’ll be more opportunities for us to use IDs besides just having them and wearing them,” Frasca said. 

Frasca hopes to be able to send messages through Minga to students letting them know about changes in bell schedules or certain events happening that day.

“I’m hopeful that maybe even on days where the schedule is different we can communicate out, ‘Hey, we’re on an activity schedule today, don’t forget to check the bell schedule,’” Frasca said.  

Administration is going to do random ID checks starting next week to make sure students have the new digital system and everything is working properly. 

Other schools in Seminole County, like Oviedo, use digital IDs, but not specifically Minga. 

“There are other schools that have had digital IDs in place, [but] I don’t think they’re using them the way that I hope we can use this one,” Frasca said. 

Maitland said for the small portion of students who do not have a phone, a hard ID will work as well. 

“People forget their IDs all day and you’re supposed to have them every day,” Maitland said. “But most don’t forget [their] phones.”

Frasca will be sending out an email to all students with steps on how to access their ID through Minga and TV Production is going to have a tutorial for students as well. 

“I think the potential of this system is going to be unique for us,” Frasca said.

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