AMES, Iowa – The Ames Community School District is implementing new software at all of its schools this year to better screen its visitors.
The software, from Raptor, requires visitors to submit a state-issued photo I.D. through a scanner. It immediately does a background check on the visitor, notifying school personnel if the visitor is on the state’s sex offender registry. The entire process takes about a minute.
“But what we really want to use this for is to efficiently have a record of who’s in our building, so that we’re not having people fumbling through visitors logs, forget to sign out, and get really frustrated with the process,” said Kathy Hanson with the Ames Community School District.
Visitors leave their physical I.D. at the front office of each school, and return to sign-out before getting it back. School officials say this is just another layer of security for the district, ensuring the wrong people don’t make it inside.
“This is Ames, Iowa – we don’t expect things like this to happen here,” Hanson said. “But being prepared is the most important thing we can do to be safe.”
Ames is not the first district in Iowa to implement new scanning technology. In the Metro, the Des Moines and Ankeny districts are two rolling out similar software this year.