After student council deliberation, Andover launched an online sign-in program on the REACH app. Through the app, students can scan codes at the Brace Center, the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, the Polk Center, Morse Hall, Gelb Science Center, Graves Hall, according to student council. As of Tuesday, February 1, the new sign-in system on REACH will be implemented, replacing all other previous sign-in systems.
According to Claudia Scofied, Dean of Students and Residential Life, the implementation of the online sign-in system was in response to student requests that longed for an online sign-in which would curtail the inconvenience of going back to dorms and coming back for sign-in. “[Teachers] had realized that there’s a very short window between initial sign in at 8 p.m. and final sign in at 9:30 p.m. And for students to have to go back to their dorms then back to their place to study took a lot of time, especially if their dorm wasn’t located in the center of campus. It’s become more important in the last few years, and student leaders have asked for it. So we knew students wanted a way to do a remote sign in and sign out to a place of study,” said Scofield.
Despite some dorms adapting REACH earlier in the fall term, the system still needed an easier and more convenient way for students to use. Further, delays in implementing the new technology has forced the school to withhold its use until now, according to Scofield.
Scofield said, “There weren’t tools there for a very long time. And one of the biggest stumbling blocks or biggest issues with reach has been students, failing to either sign in or sign out. So, back in early September, Reach told me that they now have this method where students could use their phones and using the NFC, which are near field communication tags, they’d be able to just hold their phone over the tag and be able to sign in [to] a place to study.
“That was in September, [but] just because of some supply chain issues, being able to get the NFC tags, which were delayed, and some of the demands in our office, [the online sign in system on Reach] wasn’t able to happen till now,” continued Scofield.
Emma Cheung ’23 has found the online system helpful, especially during the winter term. REACH allows her to avoid the cold weather while traveling back to her dorm for sign-in.
“I personally really like it. We’ve been doing it since December [and] I honestly think it’s just a lot more convenient. Especially with it being winter, it’s nice not having to brace the cold to go back to my dorm only to sign in and then go back out again. It’s definitely more convenient, and I enjoy it,” said Cheung.
With REACH’s new implementation, Scofield hopes the program will provide both students and faculty the convenience and savings of time. Students will no longer be obligated to travel back to their dorms, and house counselors will be able to locate students more easily.
Scofield said, “I’m hoping that it works very well for students and I hope they find it easy and convenient to use because now obviously if you’re at the library at seven o’clock, at eight o’clock, you can just sign out … instead of gathering up all your stuff, trudging across campus, telling your house counselor you’re here, and go[ing] back. So from that perspective, I think it’ll work really well for the students. It’ll work really well for the house counselors too because now they can, through the reach app, view where everyone is.”
Students who reside in dorms that are closer to the main campus and are less inclined to go outside after 8 p.m. have expressed concern for the potential complication from transitioning to the new system. While sharing the sentiment of the added technology, Valencia Zhang ’25 acknowledged the changes REACH could bring to her time usage during the sign-in period.
Zhang said, “I personally do not love it. I live relatively close to campus, so making it back on time is not an issue. I also usually do my work in my room anyways. Ms Scofield’s email mentions that every boarder needs to mark their location as their dorm every night, [and] I think I will forget to do this.”
Zhang continued, “[Though,] I am looking forward to seeing if the sign in system will make my study habits change. I have never went to Math Study Center/Science study center because I find it inconvenient to walk back to Chase to sign in and then walk back to campus. Perhaps I will now do my work in silent or other places more often.”