Zionsville Community Schools adds security check for guests


By Heather Lusk

Visitors to Zionsville Community Schools this year will notice a new process in place during regular school hours.

Those entering the schools will need to share a driver’s license to be scanned against the SafeVisitor system, which cross references visitor information against all national sex offender registries. In less than one minute, a badge will be printed for the visitor to wear while at the school that day.

“We’re always evaluating all of our safety protocol,” ZCS Chief Technology Officer Dan Layton said. “As a growing school system we thought this was something that would definitely help with efficiencies at the front desk.”

This will put all of the background management systems used by ZCS in one centralized location, according to Layton.

“This is just one extra step to help us organize all of our visitors,” Layton said, who said he hopes this will also be a deterrent to those who shouldn’t be visiting the school.

“Safety is our first priority,” he said. “When kids feel safe, when parents feel safe dropping them off and when our teachers feel safe, it just leads to a more productive working environment.”

Layton said the district is in the process of incorporating all of the approximately 4,000 limited background checks into the system. The limited background checks are necessary for anyone volunteering for book fairs, field days, after prom or similar, in-school activities. Those volunteers will receive an official volunteer badge electronically that will still check against the national sex offender registry each time but will be a less involved process.

“It will be a little of an easier system for our parents who are frequent volunteers,” he said.

Frequent vendors to the school will receive similar badges.

The cost for the SafeVisitor hardware such as scanners and printers was $6,500 for all eight schools, with an annual fee of $3,250.