GKC(REGULATION) - COMMUNITY RELATIONS: VISITORS
Vendors are not allowed to solicit individual schools including teachers, staff members, students, or parents, directly or indirectly, without a valid permit.
Vendor permits will be granted only to vendors of products and services that will be used or consumed on the campus or that will be used in a campus fundraiser.
Vendors that seek approval of a vendor permit must submit an "Application for Vendor Sales Permit" to the Department of Contract and Procurement Services.
Contract and Procurement Services shall review the application and determine whether to approve the vendor permit. For vendor permit applications that include a fundraising component, Contract and Procurement Services shall obtain campus concurrence.
Vendor permits are only valid for a specific date(s) noted on the permit and must be used on the date(s) specified. Vendors seeking approval for multiple dates will first be required to adhere to and comply with the District badge policy which includes national background checks and fingerprinting. [See CJA(REGULATION)]
Vendors are authorized to visit a campus only with a valid vendor permit. Vendor permits are not a product endorsement or assurance of an appointment or other consideration. Vendor permits do not constitute a contract or obligate the District to pay funds.
Products or services that require the use of instructional time or that are intended to result in student learning will be considered instructional programs and will require the approval of the associate superintendent of academics.
Visitors Management System
All campuses will use the District's visitor management system. The District's visitor management system provides the following services and encompasses the following procedures.
The District's visitor management system enhances safety for District students and staff through several functions:
- Electronically checking all visitors against registered sex offender databases in 48 states;
- Electronically checking all visitors for restraining orders;
- Producing adhesive, dated visitor badges;
- Maintaining records of all visitors' times and destinations on campus;
- Monitoring volunteer hours;
- Replacing paper sign-in logs; and
- Completing campus-customized tasks.
The goal of the District's visitor management system is to protect the safety of students and staff in a manner that welcomes participation and protects the privacy of all members of the District community.
Note: The visitor management system does not replace established procedures for approving vendors, contractors, volunteers, and the like, who may be on site under District contracts or other recognized District operations. These individuals must follow the District's approved policies and procedures.
General Campus Procedures
General campus procedures will be as follows:
- All campuses will use the District's visitor management system during the hours of instruction on that campus. Hours of operation may be extended by one hour before and after instructional hours at the discretion of the campus principal. With approval of the District police department, campus administrators may choose to modify the hours of use to extend beyond the time described above.
- All campus staff will actively ensure that District procedures are followed by ensuring that:
- Visitors follow check-in procedures to ensure that all persons who are not assigned to the campus have a visitor's badge, an official District ID badge, or law enforcement badge; and
- Any individual who does not have a visitor's badge, District ID badge, Child Protective Services ID badge, or law enforcement badge be immediately escorted to the office.
- Signs will be placed at all doors and potential entry points directing visitors to the office to check in.
- When a visitor arrives, he or she will report to the front office to be greeted and asked for government- or District-issued photo identification.
- The designated District's visitor management system-trained staff member (no student aides) will scan the visitor's identification card and issue a badge. A kiosk check-in method may not be used. If the visitor does not have acceptable photo identification available, the campus administrator on duty will be called upon to assess the situation.
- Visitors will be asked to return to the office, turn in the adhesive badge, and "check out" of the system before leaving the campus. If a visitor does not check out, the system will automatically sign him or her out at 4:00 p.m. each day. (Note: The system does not provide automatic notification about visitors who have not logged out. School personnel will need to run a report manually at the end of each day to identify these visitors.)
- If the system is unavailable or not in service, visitors should be manually logged in on a sign-in sheet and the online Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry should be used to verify the visitor is not registered in Texas.
Administrative procedures will be as follows:
The following administrative procedures shall apply to visitors:
- All parents or guardians or other visitors seeking access to a campus for the first time will be asked to present a valid driver's license (any state), official state photo identification card (any state), or District-issued photo identification card for scanning. Campus visitors who do not possess a valid driver's license/ID may produce another type of photo identification (e.g., passport, consulate identification with photo). This information may be entered manually into the system.
- School personnel conducting the District's visitor management system process will visually check the photo, note whether the visitor is a registered sex offender, and ascertain the nature of the visit. If the photo is a match, the scan is negative, and the visit meets District criteria, the visitor will be provided the printed out adhesive badge and allowed appropriate access to the campus.
- On subsequent visits, if the visitor is recognized by the staff person managing the system, the visitor may be manually logged in. The system "remembers" previous visitors and is capable of running a new database check by command. Staff must ensure that the returning visitor's photo in the system matches the visitor. (Note: School personnel should always keep the visitor's driver's license in plain view. This helps to reduce concerns about the compromise of personal data. Also, when a visitor returns the visitor badge, the badge should be destroyed in the visitor's presence.)
If a visitor does not produce an appropriate ID, the following will apply:
- A campus administrator should be contacted immediately. The administrator, based on knowledge of the person and situation, can make a determination to allow entry or refuse access. The administrator may choose to enter information manually into the system. In this case, the administrator has the option of restricting the visitor to the main office and/or requiring that campus personnel accompany the visitor.
If a visitor is a registered sex offender, the procedures at Sex Offender Alert will apply.
- Vendors/Contractors/Others: All outside vendors and personnel performing contracted services or making deliveries must comply with access procedures unless the administrator determines that personnel are working in an area that will enable no contact with students or unless the administrator requires that campus staff accompany the individual.
- The same guidelines noted above for visitors will then be followed.
Emergency and Government Officials
The following procedures shall apply to emergency and government officials:
- Law Enforcement/Emergency Responders/Government Officials: Law enforcement and other first responders will be allowed to bypass the sign-in process when responding to an emergency.
- Police officers, sheriff's deputies, and child protection services investigators, by Texas statute, have their personal information protected. Their identification cards do not have to be checked against the sex offender database. School personnel will follow District procedures to document their presence and, if necessary, to verify their identity (badge number) with their agency.
- Other government officials (e.g., health department, fire department, and the like) may object to the scanning of their driver's licenses, and the same procedures may be used as with police officers above.
The following procedures shall apply to emergency and government officials:
- District Employees including Substitute Teachers: District employees wearing official District ID badges are not required to be scanned into the system and may sign in and out using appropriate paper logs. However, if the campus principal chooses to maintain paperless logs, the District employees may be scanned in on the first visit and may be manually entered on subsequent visits.
- A District employee who does not display an official District ID badge must produce a valid Texas driver's license or other official state photo identification card, and, unless the campus staff knows him or her, the employee's employment must be verified through the department of human resources. The same guidelines noted above for visitors will be followed.
The following procedures shall apply to students:
- Students arriving late to school and students who are picked up early from the campus prior to the end of the school day are to be entered into the District's visitor management system as a student. The student's name or ID number shall be used to look up and properly identify the student.
Registered Sex Offender Alert
The following procedures will apply regarding a sex offender alert:
- If a sex offender alert appears on the screen, a photo is displayed for verification purposes. Before clicking Yes, campus staff will check the following:
- First, middle, and last name against the ID provided by the visitor;
- The photo on the screen against the ID and the person checking in;
- If the photo is unclear, the date of birth, middle name, and/or other identifying information, such as height and eye color provided by the system, against the ID provided by the visitor; and
- The full address on the screen against the ID provided by the visitor.
- Since a non-offender may have the same name and birth date as a registered sex offender, campus staff must verify the identity before confirming a match.
- If the information retrieved by the system does not contain a photo or provide sufficient data to confirm an individual's identity, campus administrators will
be notified immediately to make a decision. A visitor will not be allowed to access the campus unescorted before identification is confirmed.
- Campus staff will attempt a match verification.
- If a determination is made that the photo and identifying characteristics are clearly not of the same person, campus staff will click No. The visitor will then be issued a badge. (Note: If there is a false positive match, the alert will occur each time an individual visits a campus for the first time.)
- If it is determined that there is a match, campus staff will click Yes. Once a match is confirmed, a notification will be sent via pager to the designated campus administrator and/or the School Resource Officer (SRO) in order to alert them of a possible sex offender on site.
Administrative notification will be performed as follows:
- The visitor will be discreetly requested to wait in the lobby area "while the system verifies his or her request to visit on campus." Reasonable efforts will be made not to alarm the visitor. No details or further information should be provided. (Note: If the person asks for his or her ID back and wants to leave, campus staff will comply with the request. A visitor will not be detained.)
- The visitor's information will not be disclosed to anyone other than the campus administrator and/or the SRO.
- Two-way radios will not be used to discuss information as others may hear confidential information.
- Campus staff will stand by until the administrator and/or the SRO respond.
- If the individual becomes agitated or campus staff members have safety concerns, the standard emergency procedures for summoning assistance will be followed (e.g., calling by radio; calling 911, and the like).
The administrator's/SRO's response will be as follows:
- The campus administrator/SRO will consult with the visitor in a private area. Based on knowledge obtained about the individual and/or situation, a determination will be made whether to allow entry or refuse access to the campus or to a particular student.
- The campus administrator will consult with the campus SRO regarding the precautions to be taken whenever possible.
Registered Sex Offenders
In the event an identified parent or legal guardian of a student is listed in the database, he or she may be granted limited access to the campus. The campus administrator will decide when and where this person can go and who will supervise the visit. Before access is granted, a determination must be made that the registered sex offender is not under a court order restricting him or her from being on school property. Information can be obtained on the Texas Department of Public Safety's website (www.txdps.state.tx.us). If granted limited access, the individual will be closely monitored while on school property. In any event, the District Police Department will be consulted to ensure that other problems are not present (e.g., outstanding arrest warrants, failure to properly register, and the like).
The following will apply:
- Campus administrators or SROs will privately advise the visitor of the database match.
- If the individual indicates that there is a mistake, he or she should be encouraged to contact the state listing his or her name to rectify the matter.
- The campus administrator will send a letter outlining the guidelines that the parent or guardian must follow when on campus. Administrators may add specific campus guidelines as appropriate.
- A parent or guardian desiring a teacher conference will be encouraged to schedule the conference at a time when other children are not in class.
- The law enforcement representative for that campus will be contacted to determine the status of the individual and whether there are probation or parole conditions that impact right of access to the campus. For campuses that do not have an SRO, or if the SRO is not immediately available, the District Police may be called at 414-1703.
Optional Customized Alerts
To assist school personnel in identifying and avoiding a dangerous situation, if a visitor has been determined to pose a danger to students or staff, the District's visitor management system may have been programmed with a customized alert specific to the students and staff at a campus.
On this basis, a person in any of the following categories may have been entered into the system with a customized alert:
- Non-custodial parents or family members;
- Parents or other family members with restraining orders banning contact with a student or staff member;
- Parents with very limited visitation rights to their children;
- Expelled students;
- Students from rival campuses;
- Persons who have threatened students or faculty members; or
- Persons who have committed a crime on or near a campus.
The campus and District moderators will have the ability to add private alerts. If a private alert is added, the moderator will ensure the following:
- A copy of the court order, restraining order, legal document, or communication from law enforcement or administrators that supports the alert will be appropriately filed.
- Office staff and all campus leaders will be notified by e-mail about the nature of the alert.
- Campus emergency procedures that address hostile persons on campus will be reviewed.
The District's visitor management system will provide an electronic database of volunteer hours and duties performed at campus. Campus staff will assist each volunteer to complete the scan process on the volunteer's first visit to the campus. On subsequent visits, the volunteer's name will be available through the system's quick find screen.
The process will be completed as follows:
- The staff member will select, on the first screen, the "volunteer" designation; then select job and location, and print the badge for the volunteer.
- When the volunteer activity has been completed, campus staff will assist in the check-out process.
Breastfeeding on Campus
A visitor who is breastfeeding a baby will not be denied access to any area she is otherwise authorized to be. Administrators will identify and make available a designated area, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by students, employees, and the public to breastfeed or express milk. A staff member who offers a private room must clarify that the mother is welcome to breastfeed wherever she prefers and is authorized to be.