Greers Ferry, Arkansas’ West Side School District is using a new visitor management system and procedure that requires all district vendors, substitute teachers, volunteers, visitors and parents to present valid, state-issued IDs before entering campuses.
According to a report from The Sun Times, parents and other visitors will now be required to produce a valid ID when they arrive on campus, when checking students out of school or entering student-populated areas of campus. The new procedure is expected to take an extra minute or two as IDs are scanned and visitor badges are issued, but the added security benefits outweigh the procedural changes.
The district opted for a visitor management system from Raptor, a company that has provided similar solutions to other school districts. The system is designed to access only the visitor’s name, date of birth and photo to check against a national database of registered sex offenders. School officials are alerted at the time of the ID scan if there is a potential match to a registered sex offender.
No other visitor data from the ID is gathered nor is the system connected to any other registry or database, for example the Office of Motor Vehicle. Once entry is approved, the system issues a badge identifying the visitor, the date and the purpose of the visit.
The visitor management solution spans both elementary and high schools in the district. Elementary school personnel will confirm the identity of any adults who leave with a student, while high school office personnel will scan IDs before adults leave with a student.
A visitor badge will not be necessary for those who visit the school to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. However, parents or guardians who check out a student must present identification. In cases where a visitor does not have identification, a staff member will escort the visitor to the intended destination.