Thursday, January 16, 2020

Grandview Schools to Implement New Visitor Management System

by Mary Wilson

Visitors to any Grandview School District buildings will soon be required to provide identification as the district works to ensure a safe and secure environment for students and staff.

After reviewing and testing a handful of different management systems, two vendors were selected for demonstrations with the district team, which was comprised of representatives from central office administrators, building level administrators, building secretaries, the IT department and the public relations coordinator.

“The conversations we have had with our safety team throughout the district have revolved around the need for further security at our entrances,” said Superintendent Dr. Kenny Rodrequez. “These discussions have gone on for the last year or two, and this is the recommendation from the team.”

Raptor Technologies, or the “gold standard” as Assistant Superintendent Lori DeAnda referred to the company, has a visitor management system used by school districts in the Midwest.

“The things we liked about this technology were also things that the safety committee wanted in the system that we acquired,” said DeAnda. “Accessing the database was really important and doing that every time a person comes through the door. What’s true on Tuesday many not necessarily be true on Wednesday, and this program will show us that.”

The system is customizable to the district’s specific needs, but overall will offer:
• Screening of every visitor against registered sex offender databases in all 50 states.
• Creation of custom alerts for custody issues, trespassing, etc.
• District-wide reporting for all visitors.
• Visitors’ passes including a photo.
• Tardy slips for late students.
• Expansion capabilities for student attendance, volunteer tracking, and emergency management.

“We also appreciated the ease in which the system could be implemented,” said DeAnda. “Training should take less than an hour at each building site.”

Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a driver’s license, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sex offenders are not entering school campuses without staff’s knowledge. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency.

Once entry to the school building is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of their visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit the schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.

“The system will be a little different in some ways, and very similar in others, to what we’ve done in the past,” said Rodrequez. “While we know that there may be some concerns and challenges, we think that at the end of the day, this will ensure a safer environment for our district.”

The implementation of the Raptor visitor management system began at CAIR and Central Office on January 13, with the rest of the district sites seeing the new system beginning on January 22.

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