Lower Merion School District is beginning implementation of recommendations that grew out of the work of the School Safety Task Force and that were approved by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors in February. The changes below are being rolled out to the elementary schools – starting with Penn Valley next week – during this school year and will be implemented in the secondary schools during the next school year. School visitors will notice the following:
LMSD has contracted with Advanced Protection Company to provide security guards at school entrances during the school day. The guards will monitor security cameras and register all visitors to protect against unauthorized persons entering school grounds or buildings.
The guards will not be armed. They will not monitor student behavior or discipline students. Campus aides and recess aides will continue to interact with students as they have in the past. The guards will take the burden of visitor screening and badging off of the school secretaries, who have many other duties, especially at busy times such as the beginning and the end of the school day.
As is current District practice, all visitors to school buildings will be required to present a valid photo ID prior to being admitted.
The new security guards will use Raptor® Visitor Management as a tool to screen and keep track of school visitors. Visitors will present their driver's license or another form of ID to the security guard, who will use the Raptor® system to check it against a database of registered sex offenders and against other information (such as custody agreement arrangements, protection from abuse orders, etc.) entered by the District. If the information warrants, visitors may still be granted entry, but will be escorted throughout their visit, at the discretion of the principal.
Visitors who are cleared will receive a printed visitor badge, including their photo, the date of their visit and their school destination. The system will also be used to ensure that volunteers have their up-to-date state-mandated clearances. Once a visitor or volunteer's ID is in the system, they will just need to give their name for subsequent visits.Click here for FAQs about the Raptor® system.