Keeping schools safe is an essential part of nurturing a healthy learning environment for both students and teachers alike. That’s why many schools are investing in visitor management systems as part of a broader effort to improve school security.
Visitor management systems are an important component of any security program. By using a check-in and check-out system in conjunction with visitor badges, school administrators can effectively know who is coming in and out of their doors while keeping logs for future reference. Additionally, visitor management systems help deter other security concerns, including:
- Class disruptions by unexpected visitors
- A non-custodial parent taking a child off-campus
- Property theft & vandalism
- Unsavory characters entering school buildings
To get started with your own visitor management system, here are some simple steps you can take.
Step 1 – Assess your security needs
Knowing the full scope of your school’s unique security needs is the first step in planning a visitor management program. Because security is critical to everyone’s safety, assessment and planning should be done in partnership with experienced security professionals and local law enforcement officials.
Step 2 – Check local law requirements and standards
Safety and privacy policies differ between school districts. Always check and verify with appropriate school district and law enforcement offices when planning your own visitor management system. The goal is to ensure that your chosen solution meets mandated standards. Some districts, for example, require schools to conduct criminal background checks on regular visitors or any volunteers they accept.
Step 3 – Consult with all stakeholders
To ensure full cooperation from teachers, students and their parents when implementing your planned visitor management system, consult with them during the planning stages. Earn their support by explaining the planned changes and the reasoning behind them.
Step 4 – Work your budget
Visitor management systems vary widely. A complete system can cost as low as a couple of hundred dollars, while more sophisticated packages could go for quadruple that amount, or even more.
While finding the money to implement a visitor management system can be a challenge, there are several options available. One advantage of doing a thorough assessment of your school’s unique needs is that you can tailor your system, allowing you to select specific solutions that are significantly cheaper than comprehensive systems that may not be the best fit for your budget and requirements.
Step 5 – Acquire the system, train your staff, implement the visitor management system
After doing your homework, the final step is to go out and find a visitor management system provider that can deliver what you require, from equipment and supplies to training and support. You should look for a provider that can help you not only during the initial implementation phase, but also throughout the life of your visitor management program – all while keeping your costs within budget.
To learn more about visitor management systems for schools, or for expert assistance in planning and implementing a customized visitor management solution for your school, call us today at 1-800-667-1772. You can also reach us via e-mail.
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