School Visitor Management

What’s the Purpose of a Visitor Management System?

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Visitor management systems have many different purposes and functions. They ensure increased safety by offering peace of mind for students, teachers, and parents, and they allow schools the freedom to address other areas of concern in creating a successful educational experience. SafeVisitor Solutions is a visitor management system that does all of these things for schools and businesses.

In a building that uses SafeVisitor, all visitors must scan their state-issued ID in order to enter. Their information is run against the National Sex Offender registry and against any exclusion lists the building may have in place. This ensures that schools have screened and identified all visitors for the protection of those within.

These screening procedures allow peace of mind for anyone involved in a school that is using SafeVisitor’s system. Students will know that their school is safe, thus freeing them from worry about the wrong people entering their school. They can focus on school work. Teachers will be able to focus on teaching and the needs of the classroom. Parents will know that their children are in a safe environment every day.

With such an increased sense of safety, the school can perform at a higher level. Because the system allows for the administration to trust that their school will be safe, administrators can focus their time on other areas to improve the school. Knowing the building is protected is very important not only because safety is a big concern, but because it will allow all concerned to perform at a higher level.

Safety is crucial for all schools. A visitor management system is very useful to enhance security. If you would like to learn more about SafeVisitor Solutions, please join us for a free webinar!

 

Are You Keeping Students Safe with a Quality Visitor Management System?

There can never be too much safety for our schools. As technology advances, it is vital for schools to make technological advances as well. A main advancement that many schools are implementing is a visitor management system.

Visitor management systems not only keep children safe, but they also provide a sense of comfort for your district’s parents. SafeVisitor Solutions can provide safety for your school, comfort for parents, and organization for the school’s office. Here are a few key features that SafeVisitor offers:

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  • Monitors temporary visitors by checking the visitor’s identification against the National Sex Offender Registry in a matter of seconds.

  • If cleared for entry, SafeVisitor will print a time-expiring badge for the visitor.

  • The software allows the school’s attendant to know who is in the building at all times.

  • SafeVisitor Solutions can screen and manage school volunteers.

These features are only a few that SafeVisitor Solutions offers to keep schools safe. Along with the features listed above, the software can also manage existing employee background checks along with all background checks for any vendors that come into the school. These features ensure that anyone in contact with students on school grounds, is thoroughly checked and vetted.

With SafeVisitor, schools are able to manage the safety of students and teachers with ease. With SafeVisitor Solutions, both safety and visitor management will be enhanced in a more organized and efficient manner. If your school does not have the latest in a visitor management system, please check out a webinar on how SafeVisitor Solutions can help your district.

Please click here to register for a free webinar!

How to Create Visitor Management Excluded Parties Lists

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When managing visitors to a location, especially a school, the focus is usually on keeping out “bad” people – specifically, sex offenders. Sometimes, however, the people you need to keep out of a particular area are not so easily identified.

Temporary restrictions might be necessary for certain life events such as:

  • Spousal Separations

  • Divorce

  • Child Custody issues

  • Court Orders e.g., Restraining Orders

With our SafeVisitor visitor management system, a front desk attendant can seamlessly determine if a person is on the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) or has a temporary restriction by using an Exclusion List. This exclusion can apply to a single location or at all locations of your organization or campus. Since our software is cloud based, any changes made are instantly applied to all locations within your organization.

When excluding a person, you simply  enter their first and last name. A date of birth (DOB), if known, helps to ensure accuracy, but is not required. You can also specify the reason for the exclusion.

  • Failed Background Check

  • Trespass

  • Terminated Employee

  • Violent or Threatening Behavior

  • Restricted Access

There is an “Other” option where you can type in the exact reason for the person to not be permitted onsite. There is also an option to upload a picture of the person if one is available.

Now, when a visitor enters your facility and scans their drivers license, they will be checked against the NSOR and your Exclusion List.

An exclusion list can be a very important tool from an administrative viewpoint because people don’t always know what’s going on in a coworker’s private life, and that person may not want to share personal issues with their coworkers.

A tragic example of this happened recently in a San Bernardino school. The husband of a teacher supposedly showed up at school to drop off something to his wife, a teacher. Since everyone knew him they let him go to her classroom where he proceeded to pull a gun, kill her, as well as a special needs student before killing himself. It was an incredible tragedy that possibly could have been avoided or minimized had some additional visitor safeguards been in place.

A visitor management system  that utilizes exclusions could have flagged him when he walked in the door and denied him access to the building.

Would you like to learn more about SafeVisitor and managing an exclusion list?  Join us for a free webinar we host each Thursday.  Click here to register.

What Is the Best School Visitor Management System?

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Selecting the best school visitor management system is not a simple matter.  Over the years I have worked with schools that have a wide variety of needs and concerns when implementing a visitor management system:

·        Saving time for front office personnel

·        Finding an integrated solution that allows electronic student check in/out

·        Kiosk models so the visitor does all the work

If you are looking for a visitor management system (VMS) to simply improve the efficiency of the front office, then you really don’t need to read any further because I am going to focus on the core components of a VMS from a risk-management perspective. I have spent the past 25 years in risk management. I started as a Violent Crime Detective with a large metropolitan police department. I also served as a Violence Prevention Consultant for organizations such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Justice.  For the past 13 years, I’ve worked as the Founder and CEO of Safe Hiring Solutions and SafeVisitor.  I have witnessed violence up close and personal and it has shaped my perspective and priorities for keeping people and organizations safe.

Now this does not mean that a visitor management system cannot have integrations with student information systems or other applications for that much needed efficiency.  We do that with our SafeVisitor system.  However, SHS never loses its focus of the foundation of what we are doing i.e.  keeping you and your students safe.

I have a unique perspective as a former detective, and I strongly feel that what I offer that is most valuable to school administrators, is my depth of understanding concerning violent criminals and their methods. I know they can be expected to attempt to enter schools by any means possible e.g. applying for jobs, serving as volunteers, or becoming trusted frequent vendors.

At Safe Hiring Solutions, we have conducted more than 700,000 background checks for schools over the past 13 years. 

Just recently, we flagged an existing school employee who was applying with a new school district.  He had a case of sexual exploitation as well as a substantiated case with the Department of Child Services for child neglect. This man has been teaching for several years.

On a monthly basis, we flag sex offenders that are trying to access schools.  Offenders who harm children are constantly seeking access to children.  Schools are defenseless against these predators without comprehensive risk management solutions.

So when SHS talks about visitor management systems, we are always focused on keeping people who would harm children out of our schools and away from our children. Surprisingly, the majority of organizations I enter each week, schools and non-schools alike, do not have a single tool for managing their flow of visitors beyond a self-disclosing clip board.

The first step in protecting your school, students, and employees is to create a safe perimeter.  Paul Dvorak, SafeVisitor Advisory Board Member and Secret Service Special Agent in Charge of Indianapolis Office, has helped us better understand how critical a safe perimeter is when protecting dignitaries such as the President of the United States.

A school needs to create a safe perimeter between entering the building and visitors.  A clip board on the front office desk is not a safe perimeter.  The safe perimeter has already been breached just by being at the front desk

A self-service kiosk in the lobby is no better than a clipboard.  It does provide a false sense of security that comes with using technology, but there are still a couple of problems:

1.      They are already in your lobby, and

2.      How do you know they are who they register as?

How does SafeVisitor approach perimeter security?

  • Reduce Unexpected/Unknown Visitors.  We work closely with schools to classify their visitors.  Who are they?  Most visitors fall into a category of parent volunteers, partner volunteers, vendors/ contractors, student teachers, and business associates of administrators.  When you work through this list, it becomes apparent that the vast majority of visitors to a school are neither unclassified nor unexpected.
  • Comprehensive Background Checks.  Frequent visitors such as volunteers, vendors, student teachers, and substitutes should submit to a comprehensive background check before receiving clearance to enter the school.  The background check can also be set on a renewal interval of every 2, 3, or 4 years.

 

  • Business Meetings.  Most business meetings are scheduled in advance.  The VMS should accommodate pre-registration for business meetings or low-risk visitors that are not having direct or ongoing contact with students.  Pre-registration allows the visitor to be pre-vetted against an “excluded parties list” and the National Sex Offender Database.
  • GeoFence.  SafeVisitor can create a perimeter around each school building, so that all approved visitors can download a mobile app and activate their ID.  As they cross the geofence, it sends their information to the front office computers for review and verification before buzzing them into the building.
  • Excluded Parties. Each school can create a list of excluded parties based on their own policies.  Anybody on the list attempting to enter the building or grounds will trigger and alert law enforcement, administers, or designated security.
  • National Sex Offender Search.  Schools have the option of running a National Sex Offender Search every time a visitor enters one of their buildings.  Even previously approved visitors who have passed a comprehensive background check can have things happen between visits. This process will flag them.
  • Kiosk with Scanner.  Self-service kiosks do little to improve security.  Used appropriately, a kiosk is best deployed in a vestibule between the doors and requires the visitor to scan in with their SafeVisitor ID or government issued ID.

If you would like a deeper discussion and demonstration on how to use a visitor management system, join us for one of our SafeVisitor weekly demos or setup a personal demo.