LobbyGuard greets visitors to BA schools
When classes begin in August, visitors to the school sites may notice a new kiosk in each of Broken Arrow's 25 school sites. Known as LobbyGuard, this kiosk system enables school staff members to more closely monitor the visitors coming and going from school grounds.
“Our campus was one of the few that was able to pilot the LobbyGuard Program, and I am very pleased that the system is now being implemented in all schools,” said Childers Middle School Principal Liz Burns. “The students rely on us to keep them safe while they are at school, and this system is just one more tool we can use to maintain a secure environment.”
LobbyGuard performs an instant background check on all visitors by scanning their driver’s license. The information on the driver’s license is compared to that on national sex offender databases, but schools can also enter a customized list of names if there are specific, known individuals who should not be on campus. If there is a match, the system sends an immediate alert to school and law enforcement personnel.
“Anyone visiting our schools will need to have their driver’s license with them when they arrive,” Burns said. “This will likely take a bit of getting used to for our parents and volunteers, but the system does have some time-saving options for our frequent visitors.”
Frequent Visitor Keytags offer visitors a faster and more convenient way to sign-in. Once issued, visitors simply need to scan the bar code on the keytag for an instant sign-in. The keytags will be available for purchase from the schools for a small fee.
The LobbyGuard system also provides schools with an easy way to track volunteer hours.
“We have hundreds of volunteers at our sites every year, and they log thousands of hours of service,” said Volunteer Coordinator Jo McCord. “When our volunteers sign in using LobbyGuard, the system can automatically track their volunteer hours and print up-to-date reports at the push of a button.”
The accurate logging of volunteer hours will be critical in the future, because the new A-F grading system being used by the State Department of Education factors in volunteer hours in determining a school’s overall grade.
“Our volunteers already do so much for our schools, but with this new grading system they can also play a huge role in making sure Broken Arrow achieves the highest grades possible in the State’s new grading system,” said McCord.
Twenty-five LobbyGuard systems were purchased with funds from the 2009 bond issue, and each will be in place at the front entrance of schools beginning in August.
“School staff will still interact with our volunteers as they arrive at our schools, but this system just adds an extra layer of security that I think we can all feel good about,” said Burns.