District-Wide Visitor Management System Enhances Safety and Security in Schools

A new, districtwide check-in process now allows students and staff at Atlanta Public Schools to feel safer and more secure when visitors enter our schools.

Thanks to a $7.5 million Comprehensive Safety and Security Initative grant in partnership with West Ed and the Department of Justice, APS has deployed a consistent check-in process with ScholarChip’s visitor management systems for all school and administrative buildings.

Visitors will be required to show a picture identification card (i.e. state identification card, driver’s license or other certified pictured identification, which can include a foreign government issued ID) prior to completing the visitor’s sign-in process. 

The visitor management system, in turn, keeps track of people entering APS buildings. It checks all visitors against the national sex offender database and against school-defined alerts that could include parents/guardians with restraining orders or visitors that have been deemed a threat to students and staff.

After the system scans a visitor’s first and last name and date of birth, a picture is taken, and a name badge provided upon entering the main office. Individuals will then be given specific visitiation directions and instructions for a successful visit.

The entire process takes about three minutes to complete.

All visitors to any APS building will go through the check-in process each time and verify their reason for visiting and will receive a visitor badge.

“The system provides an extra layer of security for our B.E.S.T. family,” said Alexandria Robinson, a parent and school clerk at B.E.S.T. Academy. “It is simple to use and helps us to manage our daily traffic flow.”

APS Chief of Police Ronald Applin said the visitor management system is a key addition to APS.

“This allows the District to see who is in our schools, whether they’re permitted in our buildings and deters people who are intent on doing harm to students,” Applin said.

B.ES.T. Academy Principal Dr. Timothy Jones welcomes the new system.

“The need to feel safe at schools and in the workplace is significantly important to both our students and staff members,” Dr Jones said. “There is a subtle and sometimes delicate balance between a school being as safe as possible and maintaining a warm and welcoming climate.

“The visitor management system is a phenomenal way to ensure that our welcoming culture stays intact while taking positive steps to make schools as safe as possible,” he added. “It provides an extra layer of security that better equips our school to enhance safety and alleviate frustration, fear and anxiety.”

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