SmartPass technology helps local schools with contact tracing

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As more students shift from virtual learning to the classroom, three local tech-savvy college students developed a software program that is helping schools keep students safe.

It's known as SmartPass, which is a virtual hallway pass that helps students avoid lingering in the hallways.

The technology was created by high school friends who went to Methacton High School in Montgomery County: Dhruv Sringari, Peter Luba, and William Gulian.

"It really, throughout COVID, is helping schools manage their in-student movement," said Sringari, a junior at Penn State University.

The way it works is teachers know exactly where their students are at all times through the tracking system installed on their Chromebooks.

The premise is to avoid too many children being in the hallway or bathroom at one time. It also helps schools manage contract tracing.

SmartPass, known as the virtual hallway slip, has been in the works for three years. The creators started working on it with the help of their vice principal in high school.

The college science majors say, during the pandemic, it has taken off with more than 200,000 students and faculty across the country using it.

"I think we even have one school in Canada, which is mind-blowing. Schools will just reach out to us through our website. We do very little marketing," said Luba, a junior at Lehigh University.

Pennsylvania School for the Deaf uses the technology. The creators say 10 schools in the Philadelphia area are using SmartPass.

SmartPass costs schools $2 per student. The college creators say the money is a huge help putting them through school.
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