The safety and security of its students and staff is a top priority in the Wilton Community School District. As such, the District has enacted a number of policies and procedures relating to visitors at District buildings during regular school hours.
Starting October 2nd, 2023 visitors to the school during the hours of 7:45 AM - 3:15 PM will be required to provide a Driver's License, which will be scanned through the School Gate Guardian visitor management system. The system uses the identification to conduct a background check, which includes the national sex offender database. A visitor's badge is then printed, which includes the visitor's name and a small photo.
FAQs for Parents and Community Members School Gate Guardian Visitor Management System
1. What is School Gate Guardian?
School Gate Guardian is a visitor registration system designed to enhance school safety and security. When visitors arrive at a school, they present a government-issued identification such as a driver’s license. The driver’s license is then scanned and compared with information from several databases including the registered sex offender database and a locally-stored database created by the District that could include parents or guardians with restraining orders or visitors that have been deemed a threat to students and staff.
2. Why has the Wilton Community School District decided to use this type of system?
Student safety is one of our highest priorities and a computerized visitor management system allows the school district to more clearly and accurately identify visitors. In the unlikely event an incident does occur, police and other authorities will have access to these electronic visitor logs which have a photograph of the visitor, as well as a date and time stamp of their entry and exit times.
3. When did this system go into effect?
The School Gate Guardian Visitor Management System goes into effect on October 2nd, 2023.
4. What information is the School Gate Guardian retrieving from the photo ID?
The only information the system scans to perform the proper searches are the first name, last name, date of birth, address, license number and the description/photo of the visitor. None of this data will be shared with any other company or organization other than law enforcement, and this will only occur in the event of an incident. No data is stored in the School Gate Guardian system.
5. Is my information secure during the background check screening process?
School Gate Guardian encrypts information as it is sent out over the Internet to perform the background check.
6. Does the Wilton Community School District have the right to require visitors and parents to produce a state-issued ID before entering school facilities?
Yes. District personnel must be certain of who is in our buildings, what the purpose of their visit is, whom they are here to see, and if they have the authority or the right to have access to our facilities and students. We can only do this by performing the appropriate checks.
7. How long does the scanning/check-in process take?
The entire process should take less than three minutes to complete; often it will be much faster than that. We recommend arriving on campus with enough time to complete the required scanning/check-in.
8. What if a parent/guardian does not have a government-issued ID?
No, visitors will be granted access to the facilities without a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license.
9. If a positive match does occur indicating a visitor is a registered sex offender, what procedures have the staff members been trained to do?
School Gate Guardian checks the nearly 600,000 registered sex offenders in this country. Occasionally, parents or relatives of one of our students may be deemed a registered sex offender. This person does have the right to conduct business on school property, but our staff members have been trained to bring in an administrator to assess and address the situation. The system displays a positive match in a discreet and silent fashion so these instances are usually handled in a non-public way to avoid any embarrassment to the individual. In the event the visitor is identified as having a match to the sexual offender database, our staff has been trained to remain calm, ask the visitor to wait for assistance, and seek immediate help from other District personnel or law enforcement officials. The staff has been trained to not go into any further details with the visitor until the appropriate persons have arrived.
10. Do I need to scan photo identification if I need to drop something off such as my child’s lunch, book, money, instrument, etc.?
The process for dropping off items remains the same: parents or guardians who need to drop off items at school for their child or other school personnel should enter the Main Entrance. When greeted by school personnel, visitors should indicate that they have something to drop off and can leave the items with the secretary. The secretary will deliver the items to the appropriate person.
11. What will happen when a visitor enters the school?
The visitor will give his/her government-issued identification card (such as a driver’s license) to the building secretary who will scan the card through the School Gate Guardian system. The card-reader will gather necessary information from the license. Frequent volunteers and outside vendors may be issued a key tag for entrance to the buildings. In this case, the key tag is scanned. The information will then be run through a sex offender database, as well as a district-maintained database. If no matches are found, the secretary will print a visitor badge, which includes the visitor’s name, photo, reason for visit and location of visit. If the visitor appears in the sex offender database, a pop-up message will discreetly appear on the secretary’s computer screen. Staff members have been trained in how to handle this situation.
Upon completion of the visit, the visitor will return to the secretary and scan the barcode for exit. All visitors are required to exit the building through the main entrance and scan the visitor barcode or key tag. After scanning for exit and leaving the building, the visitor may dispose of the visitor badge. Key tags for frequent visitors should be kept for future use.
12. If I’m a parent/guardian who has already had my ID checked, do I need to do it every time I arrive on campus?
Yes. All visitors to any school facility will be scanned by the School Gate Guardian System. Their information, including a photo, will appear on the computer screen for a staff member to verify identity. Scanning each time a visitor enters a school facility assures that the information is accurate and up-to-date.