To enhance safety for students and staff, the Ames Community School District will begin using the Raptor Visitor Management System in all of its schools at the start of the 2016-17 school year.

Raptor is a web-based software application that provides an effective, efficient method for tracking visitors and managing access to Ames schools. Raptor replaces paper-based visitor logs, allowing schools to produce visitor badges, to monitor volunteer hours, and to electronically check all visitors against public databases.

We welcome visitors to our schools. Our goal for these safeguards is to keep our learning environment and school community as secure as possible.  When visitors enter a school during school hours and desire access beyond the front office, they will be asked to present a valid state-issued ID. This procedure includes all visitors coming for school activities, such as kindergarten glimpses, during the hours school is in session. On the first visit to the school, the visitor’s ID will be scanned into the system and checked against a database. The process is quick and efficient. Once entry is approved, Raptor will produce a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of the visit.

The system maintains a record of visitors whose IDs are scanned into the system. On subsequent visits, visitors will provide their ID, but it will not be necessary for school staff to scan it. Staff will log them into the system and produce a visitor’s badge.

Staff will hold visitors’ IDs in the office for the duration of the visit. Visitors must return to the office at the end of their visit to turn in their badge, retrieve their ID and be logged out of the system.

It is important to note that the Raptor system only scans the visitor’s name, date of birth and photo for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. It does not gather any additional visitor data from the driver’s license nor is the system connected to any other system such as the Department of Motor Vehicles.

If a visitor does not have identification, administrators have the discretion to allow the visitor access to the building, but the visitor will be escorted by a school staff member.

A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. Adults picking up students from the school office during the school day may be asked to present an ID but will not require a visitor’s badge. Students will be allowed to leave school only with a parent or guardian, a person on record as an emergency contact, or with another adult for whom the parent or guardian provides verified permission.

If you are interested in learning more about the Raptor Visitor Management System, please visit the Raptor Technologies website.

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