How a School Check-in Kiosk Prevents Violence and Ensures School Safety

Implementing a visitor management system that includes a school check-in kiosk is one of the biggest voids in schools today, particularly in the wake of the recent school shootings occurring all too often.

Working with schools and school districts that have a wide variety of needs, concerns, and priorities makes this process challenging. 

Therefore, it is in the schools’ and districts’ best interest to work with a school security partner.

Schools and districts have multiple concerns, needs, and priorities including:        

  • Saving time for administrators

  • Identifying an integrated solution that allows electronic student, teacher, employee AND visitor (volunteers, vendors, temporary employees, etc.) check-in/check-out

  • School check-in kiosks that are user-friendly so the user is self-sufficient, yet also has a way to authenticate nationally issued identification

The right visitor management system (VMS) and school check-in kiosk not only streamlines and improves front-office efficiency but also is much more importantly: a preventative tool to identify threats of potential danger and violence and to help ensure school security.

Identifying Red Flags Before it’s too Late

A full-service visitor management system and school check-in kiosk can integrate with student information systems for a primary goal of safety.  

Safe Hiring Solutions recently flagged a school employee, who had been teaching for several years, who was applying to work in a new part of the school district.  

He had a case of sexual exploitation open as well as a substantiated case with the Department of Child Services for child neglect. 

Because of Safe Hiring Solutions, this information was discovered before it was too late.

On a monthly basis, Safe Hiring Solutions keeps an eye out for sex offenders because many are constantly seeking access to children, so they try to access schools.  

Since schools are defenseless against these predators, a comprehensive risk management solution that includes a robust school check-in kiosk is vital.

Safe Hiring Solutions is always focused on keeping people who would harm children out of schools and away from children. 

Surprisingly, the majority of organizations we enter each week – schools, churches, and more - do not have a single tool for managing the flow of visitors beyond a self-disclosing clipboard.

Creating Safe Perimeters at Schools

The first step in protecting your school, students, and employees is to create a safe perimeter.  

Paul Dvorak, a SafeVisitor Advisory Board member and Secret Service Special Agent in charge of Indianapolis Office, has helped Safe Hiring Solutions to better understand how critical a safe space is when protecting dignitaries such as the President of the United States.

Schools need to create a safe perimeter between entering visitors and the building, which is most certainly not a clipboard simply because the area has already been breached just by being at the front desk.

A self-service kiosk in the lobby is no better than a clipboard, as it provides a false sense of security inherent to using technology. 

Additionally, self-service kiosks are already in your lobby and how do you know they are who they say they are? 

SafeVisitor Solutions approaches perimeter security by 

  • Reducing unexpected/unknown visitors by working closely with schools to classify their visitors like parent volunteers, partner volunteers, vendors/contractors, student teachers, and business associates of administrators.  

When you work through this list, it becomes apparent that the vast majority of visitors to a school are neither unclassified nor unexpected.

  • Providing a comprehensive background check/screening process and system.  

Frequent visitors such as volunteers, vendors, student teachers, and substitutes should submit to a comprehensive background check before receiving clearance to enter the school, with a renewal interval of every two, three, or four years.

  • Conducting business meetings.  

Most business meetings are scheduled in advance.  

School check-in kiosks should accommodate pre-registration for business meetings or low-risk visitors that are not having direct or ongoing contact with students.  

Pre-registration allows the visitor to be pre-vetted against an “excluded parties list” and the National Sex Offender Database.

  • Geofencing. This creates a perimeter around each school building so that all approved visitors can download a mobile app and activate their ID.  

As they cross the geofence, it sends their information to the front office computers for review and verification before buzzing them into the building.

  • Excluding parties. 

Each school can create a list of excluded parties based on their own policies so that anybody on the list attempting to enter the building or grounds will trigger and alert law enforcement, administers, or designated security.

  • Conducting National Sex Offender searches every time a visitor enters one of their buildings.  

Even previously approved visitors who have passed a comprehensive background check can have things happen between visits, so this process will flag them.

  • Deploying school check-in kiosks with a scanner in a vestibule between the doors requires the visitor to scan in with their SafeVisitor ID or government-issued ID.

If you would like to learn more about a school check-in kiosk, join us for one of our SafeVisitor weekly demos or set up a personal demo.

Working With a Violent Crime Detective

As a former detective, Mike McCarty, Founder and CEO of Safe Hiring Solutions, offers a very unique and specialized perspective and depth of understanding into criminal behavior and methods that are invaluable to school administrators.  

Spending the past 25 years in risk management, McCarty started as a Violent Crime Detective with a large metropolitan police department. 

He also served as a Violence Prevention Consultant for organizations such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Justice.  

McCarty has witnessed violence up close and personal, helping to shape and hone his perspective and priorities to keep people and organizations safe. 

McCarty knows that people can be expected to enter schools by any means possible under the guise of another purpose, e.g. applying for jobs, serving as a volunteer, or simply becoming a trusted frequent visitor. 

Safe Hiring Solutions proprietary visitor management hardware and software system SafeVisitor is the next generation school check-in kiosk integrated with the National Sex Offender Registry, as well as a comprehensive background screening system, and is the only solution offering  ArrestAlert in real-time arrest monitoring and geofencing capabilities.

Again, if you would like to learn more about how to use a visitor management system like a school check-in kiosk, join us for one of our SafeVisitor weekly demos or set up a personal demo.