In this article, we describe some of the measures that school administrators can take to protect students, teachers, and others from unwelcome visitors.
Over the past few years, tragic incidents at schools in the United States and around the world have brought the issue of school security to the forefront for educators and they have sought ways to protect students and staff while coping with ever tightening budgets and concerns over privacy.
The Role of Staff and Student ID Cards
School administrators quickly realized that one of the easiest, most effective and least invasive, ways to enhance security was to introduce ID badges for both students and staff. ID badges provide a simple way to identify whether someone belongs on a school campus.
Implementing badges for both students and staff is an important step says Ronald Stephens, Executive Director of the National School Safety Center. He says that having both parties carry badges reinforces the importance of security procedures while ensuring that unwanted visitors feel like, and are easily identified as, outsiders.
Staff and student badges can be high or low tech, depending on the needs of a particular school. Small schools, for example, may benefit from a simple solution like an expiring badge. High schools, colleges, or universities or schools in urban areas may find their needs to be more diverse. These institutions often use their badges for multiple purposes. Badges can be encoded to act as library cards, providing access to computer labs and as a way to track student attendance.
The Importance of Visitor Badges
Employee and student badges work well for identifying people who are regularly at a school but schools tend to have large numbers of visitors, including:
- School volunteers
- Guest speakers
- Contract workers
- Itinerant teachers
There are a variety of other visitors who aren’t identified by a student or teacher badge. Fortunately, there are a number of economical options for identifying school visitors.
Expiring visitor badges offer a way for schools to easily identify visitors. As their name suggests, expiring badges remain active for a limited amount of time (usually 8 hours though this can be customized) before expiring. When this happens, a change occurs to the badge’s appearance. There are even badges intended specifically for use at schools.
The Benefits of Visitor Management Software
Visitor management software is a powerful tool available to school administrators in their efforts to provide a secure learning environment for their students. Many companies offer visitor management software and some even create versions specifically for schools. Some visitor management software includes features that allow school staff to efficiently assign visitor passes, record visitor information, document problem visitors, and even create a “blacklist” of people who aren’t welcome at the school. This software can also be connected to student records databases so that staff can quickly check instructions to confirm custodial arrangements.
Another security option available to schools is an access control feature that can be added to ID badges. This feature, which can be added with most ID card software, provides school administrators with control over who has access to certain areas on school grounds. For example, many schools require students and faculty to use their ID badges to gain access to computer labs. This helps keep thieves or other unwelcome intruders from accessing these areas.
For more information about how ID Superstore can help your school with its visitor management or ID security needs, give us a call at 1-800-667-1772.