Topeka Public Schools to test new contact tracing software

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Topeka Public Schools is going to test a new computer program that could help with contact tracing. The computer program is made by Tyler Technologies.

U.S.D. 501 started using Tyler Technologies software back in 2016. The program organizes data for both the schools and the buses. In mid-September, the district will test a new software extension made by the same company.

Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson said this new software will be able to organize all the district’s data to tell them who a student or staff member comes in contact with throughout the day.

“What days that student was in school. We’ll be able to see who the other students were that that student was around,” Anderson said. “If they are a high school student with multiple classes, we’ll know exactly what classes they were in. We’ll even see the seating chart.”

If a student tests positive for coronavirus, this will allow the district to quickly see who else could’ve been exposed. Anderson said this is using data the district already collects, like class rosters, lunch schedules and bus lists.

Anderson said this information will remain confidential. The district will use it to notify the Shawnee County Health Department. Parents of other exposed students would also be notified, but Anderson said the identity of the initial positive case would remain confidential.

U.S.D. 501 students will begin school online on September 9. The district will have access to the new software in mid-September, but district leaders said they want to test the software before deciding whether to use it this semester.

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