The West Shore School District has installed a visitor management software program at each of its buildings. The name of this program is School Gate Guardian. Effective with the 2017-2018 school year, all visitors must present a valid driver’s license or other state-issued identification upon entering a school or the administration center. The ID will be scanned and checked against the sexual offender database. Protocol is in place for those who might not have a state-issued ID.
Visitors who have the all clear will receive a printed ID badge that includes their photo and name. The badge is self-expiring, meaning within 12 hours of receipt a red stop sign will bleed through to the front so the badge cannot be reused.
The process to scan an ID, run the check and print a badge takes about 30 seconds to complete. Frequent visitor key passes will be available at a later date for those who enter the school regularly.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
What is School Gate Guardian?
School Gate Guardian is a visitor management system that enhances school security by retrieving data from a visitor's state-issued ID. The information is then compared with information from several databases including the registered sex offender database and a locally stored database created by the district that could include parents or guardians with custody issues, restraining orders, or visitors that have been deemed a threat to students and staff.
What will happen when a visitor enters and leaves the school?
The visitor will hand their state-issued identification card to a District staff member, this staff member will then scan the ID through a card reader. The reader will gather necessary information which will then be run through the databases listed above.
If no matches are found, the staff member will print a visitor badge that includes the visitor's name, photo, reason for visit and location of visit. The badge is self-expiring, meaning that within 12 hours of printing, a red stop sign will bleed through to the front of the badge. This ensures visitors are not able to reuse their badge for future visits. If the visitor appears in the sexual offender database, a pop-up message will discreetly appear on the computer screen. Staff members have been trained in how to handle this situation.
Upon completion of the visit, the visitor will return to the office to scan the barcode on their badge, return their badge to a staff member, and then exit the building through the entrance.
Why has the District decided to implement this type of system?
Student safety is one of our highest priorities and the School Gate Guardian System can provide a consistent stream of information for tracking unwanted visitors in any of our facilities. Additionally, in the unlikely event that an incident would occur, police and other authorities will have access to these electronic visitor logs which have a photograph of the visitor as well as a date and time stamp of their entry and exit times.
What information is the School Gate Guardian retrieving from my Photo ID?
The only information required to perform the proper searches are the first name, last name, date-of-birth and the photo of the visitor. Any other information on the ID is ignored by the system. None of this data will be shared with any other company or organization other than law enforcement and this will only occur in the event of an incident.Will every visitor need to go through the screening process?
Yes. All visitors entering the front entrance at any school facility will be scanned by the School Gate Guardian System. The ability also exists to provide key passes for frequent visitors. These visitors, upon entering the building, will scan their key pass under the barcode reader. Their information, including a photo, will appear on the computer screen for a staff member to verify identity and print a badge.
Does the District have the right to require visitors and parents to produce a state-issued ID before entering school facilities?
Yes. We need to be certain who the visitors to our schools are, what the purpose of their visit is, who they are here to see, and if they have the authority or the right to have access to our facilities and students. We can only do this by performing the appropriate checks.
If a positive match does occur indicating a visitor is a registered sex offender, what procedures have the staff members been trained to do?
Our staff members have been trained to analyze each situation and respond professionally and discreetly. If a positive match is confirmed, our staff will take appropriate action based on their training and each individual circumstance.