Arlington Public Schools is using a new visitor management system called SafeVisitor Solutions. Visitor management systems strengthen safety and security in schools by conducting an instant background check on all visitors, creating an electronic visitor log, and streamlining the volunteer approval process. Eagle Creek Elementary and Haller Middle School are the first schools to use the system in September, with all other schools following in October.
“Currently, volunteers and visitors sign a paper log and receive a visitor badge when entering our schools,” said Brian Lewis, Executive Director of Operations for Arlington Public Schools. “With the new system, visitors will be asked to show a state issued identification like a driver’s license, or answer a few questions about their name. Their names are checked against the National Sex Offender Registry and, once cleared, staff print a self-expiring name badge for the visitor that cannot be reused.”
This system also simplifies the volunteer background check process. Volunteers will be asked to complete an on-line application, review the district’s volunteer policy and expectations, and answer questions about their identity and criminal history. By completing the online application, volunteers submit their names for a Washington State Patrol background check. Once approved, volunteers will be sent an email with a barcode they can print and use to sign in when they volunteer at a school building. SafeVisitor Solutions also offers a mobile phone application that allows volunteers to store their approval barcode on their phones. The app barcode can also be used to print a badge at their school. To complete an application, volunteers can go to the school district’s website, select “Community” and then “Volunteering.”
“The purpose of the system is to further improve the safety and security of our students, staff and visitors,” said Lewis.