Visitor Management System for Schools: 10 Questions to Pick the Best Solution

Visitor management system for schools
Schools & DistrictsBlog
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The Importance of a Visitor Management System for Schools

When it comes to school safety, one often-overlooked area is visitor management. With a multitude of visitors coming in and out of schools daily, it is essential to have a system in place to ensure that only authorized guests gain access to the building. An ideal solution for monitoring and managing guests in schools is a visitor management system, which ensures that all individuals entering school property are screened and accounted for. In this blog post, we’ll highlight ten questions you should consider to help you choose the best visitor management system for your school.

1. Does it require proprietary hardware?

A proprietary hardware-based visitor management system can be costly and hard to maintain. If hardware like ID scanners break, schools often experience long wait times to get them repaired or replaced, leaving them with no way to verify guests, meaning they’re back to using pen and paper. In some cases, schools may even need to cancel events because they can’t ensure security. Flexible hardware solutions like iPads and ID scanners help keep implementation and maintenance costs down while creating a simple check-in process.

2. Can it restrict access?

Schools may not want permitted guests to have free reign over their buildings. Having guests select the areas they intend to visit and printing that information on a badge helps officials identify who is supposed to be where. A robust visitor management system for schools should allow for this type of access restriction.

3. Does it use facial recognition?

Facial recognition can help minimize false positives and make the check-in process quick. This can relieve stress from front office staff and create a more positive experience for guests who do not need to wait as long to be verified. It’s important to note that some states permit this technology while others do not. Therefore, it’s essential to have a solution that offers the ability to turn this on or off based on your state and district regulations.

4. Does it enroll people to receive alerts?

If an emergency happens during a visit, officials need to inform the guests at the school. Automatically enrolling guests when they check in to receive text alerts helps keep them in the loop should an issue arise. This can reduce confusion and reduces the responsibility and worry of school staff to make sure everyone understands what’s happening and what they are expected to do to stay

5. Does the visitor management system for schools print badges?

Printed badges are an easy way for school staff to identify guests and confirm that they have been through the approved check-in process. Make sure your visitor management system includes the option to print badges.

6. Is it easy to add check-in stations?

Most days, schools will likely only need one or two check-in stations to accommodate guests entering their buildings. However, special events can result in a large number of guests trying to check-in. Having the flexibility to add multiple stations keeps the check-in process quick and secure, meaning guests don’t have to endure long wait times, and events can start without delay.

7. Does it scan against sex offenders and other government watchlists?

No school wants to let someone in who shouldn’t be there or has the potential to cause harm to students or staff. Visitor management systems that check against sex offender databases and government watchlists can help flag potential threats before they gain access. This allows school officials to intervene and turn people away to keep school buildings secure.

8. Does it offer the ability to create custom-banned visitor lists?

Watchlist and database screenings are helpful, but schools may not want to allow certain individuals onto school grounds for various reasons. Legal issues, domestic problems, or even persistent solicitors could be among the reasons to deny someone access. The ability to create custom-banned visitor lists through a visitor management system for schools provides the highest level of control.

9. Is it simple enough to not require staff intervention?

Your employees’ time is valuable. The more you can take off their plates, the easier their lives are. A visitor management system should be simple enough to use that guests can complete the process without staff intervention. Clear instructions, an easy-to-use interface, and even simple signage should be enough to get guests checked in.

10. Does it offer more than just visitor management?

No one wants to invest in a tool that only helps with one area of school safety. Being able to leverage more tools can provide more value. Whether it’s integrating with a mass notification system, assisting with safety drills, or even end-of-day dismissal and bus routes, the more your solution can do, the better.

School safety is more important than ever. By answering these ten critical questions, you can ensure that you choose a visitor management system for schools that meets your needs, helps enhance school safety, and provides maximum value for your investment. For more information on selecting the right system, explore our Visitor Aware system, which is designed to meet the unique needs of schools and districts.