Keeping Students Safe with Visitor Management Technology
September 14, 2022
With back-to-school now a reality for millions of students, parents, teachers and school administrators, foot traffic on school campuses is again becoming a daily occurrence for public and private K-12 schools in the United States. With student safety a top priority, a secure school check-in process for visitors is essential.
What is Visitor Management for Schools?
Schools face varying levels of threats, including the potential for dangerous persons, criminals and predators to enter the premises. Ensuring that only individuals who have been verified and are allowed on school property is essential.
Visitor management is the process by which an organization or location checks in and keeps track of its visitors. However, many education institutions continue to depend on manual, outdated methods for their school sign-in system—relying on the likes of pen and paper and visitor stickers for schools to check visitors in, without validating the person’s identity. This is not enough to keep those in schools safe today. Though there may be barriers to going digital, doing so will enhance security, provide more assurance and can improve the visitor check-in process.
Digitalizing School Visitor Management
An automated school check-in process enables school staff to screen a visitor’s state-issued identity document (e.g., a driver’s license) and cross-check that against pre-specified databases to detect unwanted visitors and identity fraud. These databases can include the sex offender database as well as criminal watch lists. This can also encompass any lists custom to the school regarding certain parents or family members not approved for child pick-up due to custody issues and/or abuse orders and more.
In less than a minute a visitor can be checked in and out seamlessly without adding work for school personnel:
- A visitor enters the front office and is welcomed at the front desk
- A member of the school staff requests a form of government-issued identification
- Once provided, the ID or driver’s license is scanned using scanning hardware that leverages identity and document verification software for fast and accurate identity proofing
- Within seconds the visitor’s photo, name and other information are captured and cross-referenced against a national sex offender database or any other pre-specified visitor registries
- Valid visitors are issued a printed, time-expiring pass with their photo, name and other visit details while the visit is electronically logged in the visitor management system
- The visitor is given the pass and allowed to enter the premises
- Once the visit is completed, the individual is signed out and the internal system is updated, with the ability to maintain a record
Depending on preference, schools can also have visitors check themselves in using either a self-service kiosk or a mobile device that utilizes the same identity verification software to ensure a fast and accurate visitor screening process within minutes. If a visitor is flagged as suspicious, they will be prompted to speak to the front desk for further interview.
Leveraging Automated Identity Verification
A visitor management system for schools with robust ID scanning hardware that leverages a digital identity proofing platform will help schools to screen visitors’ identities efficiently and accurately. Especially when the scanning hardware uses automated identity verification with access to a comprehensive global ID library that is continuously updated to support new and changing identity document formats, no matter the state.
A solution that is both easy to use and to integrate will enable schools to be up and running in no time—including staff training—and quickly realize the return on their investment (ROI). Schools can operate more confidently and parents can have more assurance that unwanted visitors are not being granted access to the premises.
Learn more about how schools can use visitor management software to keep students safe from unwanted visitors in our new case study with School Gate Guardian.