At Harrisburg Academy, the safety and security of everyone is a top priority. A new electronic visitor management system (VMS for short) was recently installed. In the first phase of implementation, we have eliminated the paper visitor sign-in sheets and replaced them with a touch-screen sign-in computer. The system requests pertinent information from the visitor and stores it in a database, then the receptionist prints a paper badge pass for the visitor. The system improves security in several ways:
- Visitor sign-in information is not visible to subsequent visitors as it was on sign-in sheets, helping to protect their privacy.
- Visitors must prove their identity with a photo ID.
- The printed badge pass must be worn by the visitor at all times; relevant information regarding their visit is printed on the badge pass for all to see.
- The printed badge pass expires and cannot be used beyond the day it was issued.
- The barcode on the badge pass makes it easy for visitors to sign out.
- The electronic records of the system are permanent and available on administrative consoles, in reports, and through queries, should it ever be necessary to review visitor information.
- Should a crisis occur while a visitor is in the building, we will know where to look for them and have the means to contact them (via their mobile phone, captured at sign-in) if that becomes necessary. The database is accessible from mobile devices in case the console at the receptionist’s desk is not available.
This is the first step in many that are possible and planned to grow the VMS into a complete solution to always know who is on campus at all times. Enhancements will automatically sign-in employees at the start of the day, and sign them out at the end. Bar-coded employee badges will make it easy to sign out and back in for planned absences during the day, such as medical appointments. A similar arrangement will also be used for student sign-outs and sign-ins.
Future improvements for visitors will include a program to give frequent visitors a more permanent bar-coded badge that will allow them to scan in and back out quickly; the ability to scan driver’s licenses to make sign-in more streamlined, and query local and national databases (e.g. registered felons and sex offenders); and the ability to make picture badges for increased security.
Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.