Keeping students safe is a top priority for the St. Joseph School District. It is important that we know who is in our buildings at all times. Starting in January 2019, we will use the Raptor visitor management system at each of our schools to keep track of visitors. The procedure will enable each school building to screen all visitors against sexual offender registries in all 50 states and establish a consistent sign-in process across the district.
Please understand that the new process is not intended to discourage parents from visiting their children’s schools. We welcome visitors and encourage all parents to be an active part of their child’s educational experience. The goal is simply to enhance the safety and security of both students and staff by prohibiting school access to those who pose a potential threat.
Once the system is in place, all visitors, including parents, will be asked to report to the main office upon their arrival at the school.
- A secretary or other office staff member will request that each visitor provide their driver’s license or other state or federally issued ID.
- The visitor’s name, address, and photo will be checked for a match to a national sexual offender database.
- If a match is identified, the building principal or designated representative will immediately be notified and respond according to district procedures.
- If no match is found, visitors will be issued a date-specific visitor’s badge. These badges must be worn at all times while on the school grounds. School personnel have been directed to escort anyone not wearing a badge to the office. Visitors must check in and receive a visitor badge each time they visit.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the visitor management process and why do we need a visitor management system?
This process helps us make sure visitors follow our district procedures when visiting our schools beyond the school office or checking out a student. Visitors entering a school beyond the office receive a printed ID sticker that must be worn and visible during the entire stay. This makes it easier for our school staff to know who is allowed inside the school.
During school hours, entry to the school building will be restricted to a single door near the office. Office personnel will check a visitor’s driver’s license or other state-issued ID, comparing information to a national sex offender database, alerting school administrators if a match is found, or issuing a detailed visitor badge if the person is cleared.
What if a match is found?
Driver’s license/ID information is compared to a database of registered sex offenders from all 50 states. If a match is found, a silent alert will go to administrative staff members. School administrators and law enforcement personnel will take appropriate steps to keep the school, students, and staff safe.
Why is the St. Joseph School District using this system?
Safety of our students is our highest priority. Part of keeping our students safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times. The Raptor system allows us to track visitors and volunteers in our schools, as well as manage student checkout. The new process will provide a consistent system to track visitors and volunteers while keeping away people who present a danger to students and staff members.
What if I don’t have a valid form of ID or don’t want it scanned?
A first-time visitor who does not have a valid ID may be granted access, with the building principal’s approval, only after manually running the visitor’s legal name and date of birth through the system. Visitors that do not present an ID their first time will only be allowed in the building with an escort at all times.
Will I have to have my ID scanned if I am just dropping something off?
Visitors who are leaving an item and will not enter the building past the office will not need to be scanned. Anyone who goes beyond the office or is picking a student up will have to will need to have their ID scanned.
Do visitors who are children need a state ID?
Children who do not have a valid ID may be allowed to visit as long as an adult who has completed the check-in process accompanies them at all times.
What other information is the school taking from driver’s licenses?
We will only capture the visitor’s name, date of birth, and photo for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. Additional visitor data will not be gathered, and no data will be shared with any outside organization or authority.
Will St. Joseph School District employees follow the procedure?
St. Joseph School District employees who do not have an employee badge visible must follow the same procedure and wear the school-issued badge. Substitute teachers will follow exactly the same procedure as other employees.
Will volunteers have to follow the procedure?
Volunteers must follow the same procedures as any visitor. Identity must be verified with an acceptable form of identification (i.e. driver’s license or state ID).
Will contractors, subcontractors and vendors follow the procedure?
Contractors, subcontractors and vendors must be checked the same as any visitor. If identity cannot be acceptably verified, they will not be allowed on district property. Acceptable forms of identification include driver’s license, state ID, U.S. military ID, or passport.
Can the St. Joseph School District require parents to produce an ID before entering the building?
Yes. The district must be sure of who is in our buildings, why they are there, and – particularly if a student is involved (e.g., early pickup) – be able to confirm that an individual is authorized to access the student. We can only do this by knowing exactly whom we are dealing with.
What about grandparents?
Grandparents will be checked against the database and the student’s enrollment form to see if they have parental permission to access the student.
What about police officers, firemen, and other uniformed or governmental officials?
Law enforcement and other first responders will bypass the sign-in process if responding to an emergency. If there is no active emergency, police/fire/other officials will be checked in and will be asked to show credentials.
Does the district have to give listed sexual offenders and predators access to the school?
Listed sexual offenders and predators are not allowed on district property or transportation or at district events. See Board Policy KK and Missouri Statute 566.149.1 for further information.
Will the district use the process for after-school activities?
No. The visitor management process will only be used during school hours.
How does Raptor keep my data secure?
Raptor uses firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, host integrity monitoring and port filtering, as well as the latest security processes to protect all of its systems and data. All information entered into Raptor gets encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption. Raptor does not share data with any third parties.
What if I have an outstanding warrant or am undocumented? Will you report me to the police or immigration?
The National Sex Offender Public Registry and the SJSD student information system are the only two databases that Raptor checks. The system will not alert office staff or even know if you have an outstanding warrant or are undocumented.
The St. Joseph School District does cooperate with police. If authorities contact us to alert us to someone who might pose a threat to school safety, this information can be entered into the system so administration gets alerted if that person visits one of our schools.
Do other schools and institutions use a system like this?
Yes. Many of surrounding districts use Raptor or similar visitor management systems to help ensure school and student safety.