The Kirkwood School District will soon require all visitors to present a driver’s license or ID before being allowed to enter any of its schools.
The district recently hired Raptor Technologies to install a visitor management system in all of its schools, which is scheduled to be in place when school begins in the fall. The district will provide detailed information to parents and community members in early August.
The Kirkwood School Board made the decision to go with Raptor Technologies after several months of discussion and feedback from the district’s safety committee, building principals, staff and parents.
Raptor Technologies was the top choice of three companies who responded, according to Mike Romay, the district’s chief financial officer. Raptor Technologies’ visitor management system is being used in more than 26,000 schools across the country, including districts in St. Louis County.
The system, which was demonstrated during a community forum on safety and security in February, scans every visitor’s license or state ID card to provide a quick background check on the person. Their name and date of birth is then entered into a database, which allows district officials to manage and track visitors in its schools.
Additional features include the ability to perform an on-site check from the national sex offender database, create visitor badges, track custody agreements and flag anyone who isn’t allowed on school property.
The district currently has $75,000 in its budget to improve safety and security, part of which will be used to fund the Raptor Technologies system at a cost of $19,000, plus roughly $6,000 annually beginning the year after its installed.
“I’m really excited about this, and we’ve heard from many teachers and parents who are very glad we’ll be getting this,” Kirkwood School Board Member Jennifer Pangborn said. “It will make our schools safer.”