Reunification and CENTEGIX visitor management

Schools Need a Plan; CENTEGIX Visitor Management Can Help.

“Knowing how to respond quickly and efficiently in a crisis is critical to ensuring the safety of our schools and students. The midst of a crisis is not the time to start figuring out who ought to do what. At that moment, everyone involved, from top to bottom, should know the drill and know each other.” – Margaret Spellings, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Over the past decade, legislators and administrators across the country have supported the improvement of school safety, emergency preparedness, and emergency response procedures. Having a plan in place can dramatically reduce stress, anxiety, and missteps during campus lockdowns, environmental hazards, or acts of violence. One key aspect of emergency response is utilizing a visitor management system that facilitates rapid and accurate student reunification.

Here, you’ll find valuable information on what student reunification is, why it’s important, current best practices, and how to further improve the reunification process with the CENTEGIX Safety Platform,™ featuring CENETGIX Visitor Management

CENTEGIX Visitor Management System

What is Student Reunification?

Student reunification is a systematic process used by K-12 schools and districts to efficiently and safely reunite students with parents and guardians during or following an emergency or crisis.  

According to Ashleigh Welko, “Parent-student reunification is one of the most frequently ignored or underdeveloped aspects of school emergency planning, yet a poorly developed reunification plan has the potential to become an enormous source of chaos in the aftermath of a school crisis.” 

Why Is Student Reunification Important?

The situation at any school can deteriorate from orderly to chaotic in an instant when an emergency occurs. Reunification plans help regain control during an emergency by accurately confirming all parties are accounted for, safe, and reunited with approved guardians. Schools need reunification plans for many situations, including weather emergencies, power outages, active shooters, and unauthorized visitor entry. 

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, the faster a student rejoins caregivers following a crisis or emergency, the less long-term trauma the student will potentially carry. Expedient reunification reduces the potential for lasting trauma for caregivers as well.

Reunification plans that incorporate innovative technology and digitalized lists are most effective. Human error and stress render manual reunification checklist processes inefficient. No one can afford to slow down this important part of emergency recovery. 

CENTEGIX visitor management

Guidelines and Best Practices for Student Reunification

Every school should have a crisis response plan, and safe reunification is a key component of such a plan. Let’s discuss guidelines and proven methods for planning, practicing, and achieving successful reunification.

Involve Your Local Law Enforcement and First Responders

Emergency response and reunification plans must involve local law enforcement and first responders. First responders will analyze a school’s plan from their perspective and provide critical feedback. With the input of these professionals, school staff members can address potential weak points in the reunification process before an emergency occurs.

Including first responders in the planning process minimizes confusion between your staff and the assistance they request during a crisis.

Create an Emergency Response Team

Proactive solutions for emergencies and reuniting students with their families cannot be accomplished by one administrator behind a desk. According to the Standard Reunification Method created by the I Love You Guys Foundation, schools should designate an incident commander and establish an emergency response team. 

Emergency Response Team - Roles and Responsibilities CENTEGIX Visitor Management

For more information about roles and responsibilities during student reunification, visit the I Love U Guys Foundation website.

Pre-position a Reunification Go Kit

What you decide to include in your Reunification Go Kit depends on variables unique to your school and staff. We recommend some of the following:

Reunification Go Kit CENTEGIX Visitor Management

Samples for many of these items can be found here on the I Love U Guys Foundation website.

Document Actions

Document every step of the process, including all incurred damages and expenditures. Through documentation, school officials create a clear record of the event for reference after the emergency is over and reunification is complete. 

CENTEGIX Reunification

CENTEGIX provides tools designed to address the need for effective student reunification. By incorporating the CENTEGIX Safety Platform into the guidelines above, your school can implement a successful reunification process rapidly and with minimal paperwork.

CENTEGIX Management for Accurate Student Rosters

Your staff will document students ready for reunification as safe before they are reunited with their parents or guardians. Instead of checking in students with printed attendance lists, CENTEGIX Visitor Management allows for digital check-ins. Staff can quickly scan a student’s ID or search for their name as they enter the reunification site. 

Scanning IDs with CENTEGIX Visitor Management will document the student’s name, time of check-in, and update your real-time reports. CENTEGIX Visitor Management allows staff to enter additional information to assist other team members with the proper procedure for parent communication.

Staff can scan a student’s ID as they exit the Holding Area and CENTEGIX Visitor Management will document the exact release time. Once a student has been reunited with their parent or guardian in the family waiting area, scan the QR code from the reunification slip to document the exit time and successful completion. Have parents and guardians initial their passes for staff to file accordingly. CENTEGIX Visitor Management calculates the total duration of each student’s reunification process to use in post-emergency reporting. 

CENTEGIX visitor management for reunification

CENTEGIX Management for Caregiver and Guardian Check-in

When adults initially arrive to retrieve their children, direct them to the check-in area, so that the Student Reunification Team can assist them. Scan the parent/guardian’s ID, select the student’s name, and collect any additional information. Staff have the option to request their signature and a photograph. Once a member of the student reunification team enters all required information for a parent or guardian, CENTEGIX VIsitor Management prints a reunification pass to retrieve the right student.

CENTEGIX Visitor Management for Real-time Reports

Up-to-date, accurate information during an emergency is crucial. Instead of manually searching through reunification cards and clipboards, CENTEGIX Visitor Management’s Web Manager digitizes reports. All documented reunification information automatically updates reports in real time. These reports are accessible by laptop, tablet, or cell phone making it easy to share information with other team members.

Setup and Test Your Devices

Rename your visitor management check-in station to reflect the purpose of its function. Activate the setting, “Allow Remote Access” to allow remote printing from student reunification check-in stations.

We recommend the use of a license scanner and at least one printer for the reunification check-in station. A license scanner can check IDs and confirm the custody of students. The printer creates passes displaying corresponding reunification information.

If using an iPad or Android device, mobile license scanning may be available through the tablet.

For information on setting up and testing your devices, see our support page, or contact our support team at 800-950-9202 or by email at

Once your devices are set up, test them to verify they properly scan licenses and print passes. If they don’t, contact our support team for assistance.