Students now assigned 12-digit ID numbers

By Staff
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
A 12-digit number has replaced Social Security Number identification in Alabama schools as part of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The 2006-2007 academic year will officially mark the beginning of the new student ID program when each Alabama student will be issued a 12-digit number that will follow them throughout their elementary, junior high and high school years.
Dr. Joe Walters, Hartselle City Schools director of instruction, said the ID numbers were assigned last spring to approximately 3,100 Hartselle students. After working out some bugs in the system during summer break, Walters said the program will be online statewide again Aug. 10.
"The system is very useful, especially for helping schools track student grades and attendance," Walters said.
"If we're fortunate, new enrollments will go smoothly using the new program."
The Alabama Board of Education implemented the program as a simple way to track students who move from one school to another and to avoid dual enrollment, which can distort funding figures and other data. The program will also protect the security of each student's SSN.
Students are not required to memorize their personal student ID numbers because it is used primarily for school records.
Through the numbers, the state will be able to access demographic information about students, such as race and age. Access to other information, such as grades, however, will be restricted to individual schools.

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