September 12, 2014

School pilot program will check visitors’ sex offender status

Would love to see statistics on, who is identified and their backgrounds, that systems like this identify. If anyone has such please forward.
9-12-2014 Maryland:

High-tech system allows on-site background checks at campuses

Charles County Public Schools will pilot a new security system in the coming weeks that will allow officials to perform instantaneous but abridged background checks on visitors to schools and the central office building.

The school system has taken advantage of a free 60-day trial with IdentAKid, the contractor from which officials purchased the current check-in system.

Each school is equipped with an electronic kiosk in the front office where a guest will provide a name and purpose for visiting the school, and receive a printed paper badge.

In roughly two weeks, visitors to the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, Milton M. Somers Middle School and Thomas Stone High School, will need to supply their ID, which staff will scan.

The system will perform a check of the sex offender registry.

Parents of children at the affected schools will be notified of the change by phone and email blasts, with a fact sheet included on how to use the new sign-in system.

“The security management system will provide an additional level of security,” said Sylvia Lawson, assistant superintendent of school administration, at the board of education meeting Tuesday. “Expansion of program to all schools is a component of future planning involving school security.”

The school system purchased the IdentAKid kiosks in 2005, to the tune of $3,500 per school for the cost of the badge printer.

Officials do not maintain a contract with IdentAKid, though they would pay an annual fee for the new service should they choose to continue after the trial period.

The only recurring cost is for the badge paper, which each school funds separately.

“The computers used for the system are ones that were taken out of schools when replaced with newer ones,” school spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson wrote in an email. “Older computers with little memory … work well with only the sign-in system on them. There was no additional cost and there has been no update to the software that would result in a cost.”

Two other companies, ScholarChip and Raptor Visitor Management Software, also placed bids for the security system, said Lawson during her presentation to the school board.

O’Malley-Simpson declined to disclose the amount of the bids of the three companies, citing ongoing negotiations.

The school system conducts a federal background check on all its regular employees.

The new security measure will target visitors, volunteers, contracted workers and other temporary employees. ..Source.. by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf Staff writer

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