Guests visiting Roxbury High School during the day will need to come prepared. Beginning in January, the high school will be test piloting a new visitor management system called LobbyGuard where individuals will need to show identification in order to enter the building whether for an appointment or to drop something off. This check-in process takes less than five minutes.
Each visitor will be signed in digitally and have their picture taken. An ID badge will be printed with their name, picture, reason for visit, and the date. Individuals are required to wear these ID badges on their left chest the entire time they are at Roxbury High School. When exiting the building, their ID badges will be returned and scanned allowing them to leave the building.
This new technology allows district administrators to view at any point in time the visitors in our facilities and for what reason. During the check-in procedure, the system performs instant background checks with the national sexual offender databases and creates customized lists of known local offenders and unwanted guests. All these protocols are put in place to keep students, staff, and other visitors safe while in our facilities.
Jim Simonetti, Roxbury’s Director of Security mentioned that this isn’t new for schools. “Other districts are using similar programs and procedures for checking in visitors. No longer are days of signing in yourself and creating your own visitor ID badge.”
He went on to add, “This is especially important if we’re ever in an emergency situation where we need to make sure everyone is accounted for and safe.”
Roxbury Schools adopted the ALiCE approach last year as part of its ongoing district goal of safety and security. ALiCE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. Gone are the days of just locking down. Staff was introduced to this program in October 2016 during an in-service day. Since then, students and staff alike practice emergency drills each month in case an emergency. These drills include active intruder, fire drills, and other simulated emergency drills.
In addition to ALiCE, the district has invested in the implementation of secure vestibules at each of the seven district schools. Roxbury High School, Eisenhower Middle School, and Lincoln/Roosevelt School had their secure vestibules installed last summer and are being completed as we speak. The four lower elementary schools will see their vestibules installed this coming summer.
Roxbury High School has already seen a change due to the secure vestibule installed there. Visitors no longer use the set of doors by the auditorium and main office instead they are directed to the far right doors closest to the gymnasium. This new location is where all visitors now enter the building.
The LobbyGuard program will streamline the visitor sign-in process district-wide once fully implemented.
“We are testing this program at the high school before rolling it out to the other district schools. We plan to work out any issues at the high school before pushing it out district-wide around May,” explained Simonetti.