GCPS’ Visitor Management Process… What’s New for 2021-22
Gwinnett County Public Schools’ visitor management process will be strengthened this year as the district rolls out a new tool to promote safety in our schools. The visitor management system is used to verify the identity of a visitor, keep track of check-in and check-out times, and print custom visitor badges. This year, GCPS schools will begin using a new tool called Raptor that enables each school building to screen all visitors against the National Sex Offender Registry and establishes a consistent sign-in process across the district. The goal is to enhance the safety and security of both students and staff by preventing access by those who pose a potential threat.
What is GCPS’ visitor management process and what is new?
During school hours, the entrance for visitors is restricted to designated doors near the office, which are locked until the visitor is granted access. To notify school staff of their arrival, visitors will push the bell button on the visitor management panel found outside the main entrance door. Once “buzzed in,” visitors will proceed directly to the front desk in the lobby to check-in.
There is a new check-in process for adult visitors entering the building for the first time this year. 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.
Why is GCPS expanding its process to include the new check-in process for adult visitors?
Student and staff safety continues to be a top priority in our schools. The new process will provide a consistent system to track visitors and volunteers while preventing access for people who present a danger to our school communities.
Does the system check a database for warrants, etc.?
No. The system checks only the National Sex Offender Registry, which is updated weekly.
What data is collected and stored when a visitor ID is scanned into the system?
First-time visitors will provide their driver’s license or other state-issued ID, which will be scanned into the system. The following information will be stored in the database:
- Full name (First Name, Last Name)
- Date of Birth
- Last four digits of ID
- ID Photo
If two or more visitors have the same first name, last name, and date of birth, the last four digits of the ID number are used to differentiate them.
What other information is the school taking from driver’s licenses/IDs?
We will capture only the visitor’s name, date of birth, last four digits of the ID, and photo for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. No other data is collected from the ID and no photocopy of the ID is retained. Additional visitor data will not be gathered, and no data will be shared with any outside organization or authority.
What kinds of IDs will work with the visitor management system?
The following IDs will be accepted: Driver’s License, State Identification Card, Concealed Weapons Permit, Mexican Consulate Card, Passport, Card Passport, and Military ID.
What if the visitor does not have government-issued identification?
A first-time visitor who does not have a valid ID may be granted access by providing First Name, Last Name, and Date of Birth. If the person will be a frequent visitor, the school will set up an account for the individual to use for future check-ins at the school.
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.
Will GCPS employees follow the procedure?
GCPS 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 visitors.
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 I.D.).
Will contractors, subcontractors and vendors follow the procedure?
Contractors, subcontractors and vendors must be checked the same as any visitor.
Will the district use the process for after-school activities?
No. The visitor management process only will be used during school hours.
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 check in and be asked to show credentials just like any other school visitor.
Do visitors go through this process every time they enter a GCPS school?
Repeat visitors to a school who have completed the process will not be required to show ID for future visits to the school. In addition, once a visitor is in the system, other schools can access the information.
Can GCPS require visitors to provide identification before entering the building?
Yes, our schools need to be sure of who is in our buildings and why they are there. If a student is being checked out, it’s important to be able to confirm that the individual is authorized to access the student.
If I am checking in my student but will not be staying in the building, do I still go through this process?
Although you will not need a visitor badge, individuals checking out students do need to follow our normal check-out procedures which do require the individual checking out the student to show their ID so school officials can check to make sure the person is designated by the family as someone who may check out the student.
If visitors go through this process just once, can newly convicted offenders still get into the school?
The system is updated weekly and will flag individuals who are in the system who have been added to the National Sex Offender Registry.
Raptor is the tool used to check-in adults visiting Gwinnett schools as part of the district’s comprehensive visitor management system.