A visitor management system for schools is one critical aspect of a robust violence prevention program. School safety is at the forefront of every parent and educator’s mind. The best-prepared schools address campus safety in several different ways. Anti-bullying campaigns, physical barriers to entry, and community outreach programs are just a few examples of recent campus safety initiatives.
While no school administrator can predict the future, every principal can prepare their campus for the unexpected. One effective option is a visitor management system. Alarmingly, thousands of schools across the country still use paper sign-in sheets to record visitors’ entry and exit times. This tracking method does nothing to enhance campus security. An integrated visitor management system is a far better option.
What is a Visitor Management System for Schools?
Electronic visitor management systems enable schools to monitor everyone who enters their campus. Each person’s government-issued ID goes into a database. This can give the school important information about all the people on the premises. Schools can enhance their visitor management system with video cameras, automated door locks and card scanners throughout the property.
School administrators are always looking for solutions to campus-wide problems. A school can reduce truancy, mitigate campus incidents and promote student success with the right tools. Modern visitor management systems help schools achieve these goals and much more. Here are what we believe to be the seven most important benefits of visitor management systems for schools:
1. A school can identify and record all campus visitors’ entry and exit with a visitor management system designed for schools. Implementing a visitor management system that issues visitor badges will help schools keep track of who comes in and out of the building. Visitor stations can also support the use of smart IDs and fobs as an alternative credential at check-in for frequent visitors. Examples would be: a key-chain style fob issued to frequently visiting parent/guardian or issuing smart IDs to school volunteers as the visitor system reports their time- clock hours. The system gathers all tracking data automatically with each swipe of a card.
2. School districts that implement visitor management systems provide peace of mind to parents, students, staff, and visitors. Facility Executive Magazine recently offered up their top school security recommendations. “One solution that can greatly improve school security is to consider visitor management. Best practice today is to limit entry to main entrances through a vestibule that allows for proper check-in and, potentially, a security screening. Automatic identification checks, requirements of photo identification, and metal detector scans are potential options.” An integrated visitor management system accomplishes all this and more.
3. An increasing number of American school campuses have a School Resource Officer on-site. But he or she can’t spend the whole day monitoring entry points. SROs play many vital roles on campus, and some SROs are even shared by several campuses. In short, being your school’s security guard is not your SRO’s only job. A visitor management system serves as another layer of deterrence against those who intend to commit crimes on campus. Installing a visitor management system makes it clear right at the front door that entering this campus will not be easy.
4. Practically every school asks parents for a list of trusted adults authorized to pick up their child from school. But busy front office personnel don’t always have the time to look up every adult who comes to get a student. A recent example of this occurred when a non-custodial parent abducted a child from his California school. The parent faces kidnapping charges, and the school could face severe consequences as well. A visitor management system makes it easy for schools to ensure that students are only released to authorized adults.
5. Teachers and students practice evacuation drills several times each school year. Staff can quickly identify any children who are missing from their classes during and after an emergency. But what about people who are visiting the campus during the emergency? An electronic visitor management system for schools enables administrators to access entry and exit records remotely following a campus evacuation.
6. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as of 2015, there were 843,260 registered sex offenders in the United States. Sex offender boundaries vary by location, as well as the individual’s status. But one thing is certain: sex offenders do not belong on school campuses. A visitor management system for schools enables staff to check visitors’ government-issued ID against sex offender registries.
7. Schools have the option of giving frequent visitors a card or a visitor fob, instead of issuing a visitor badge every time they enter the building. Frequent visitor information is available to administrators once they tap their card or fob at a visitor station. This gives these visitors quick access to the building, while keeping track of who is in the building throughout the school day.
What Could a Visitor Management System do for Your School?
If you are in search for a campus security solution, ScholarChip is a holistic, cost-effective solution to help reduce school threats and address the important issues surrounding school safety. Data from students, faculty, and stakeholder are leveraged to manage school access, attendance, and behavior management through the platform tools to increase safety and promote the campus climate schools are looking for.
To learn more about ScholarChip and how your school can benefit from a visitor management system and smart card technology, request a 1-on-1 strategy session today!