Today, safety is top of mind for practically every educational leader in the US. While students and staff are typically the center of focus regarding safety concerns, there is another integral role district administrators need to consider: volunteers.
Volunteers are an essential part of every school’s community. Volunteers help students grow their academic skills and positively impact children’s social and mental well-being. Yet, as guests on campus, they also pose potential security risks to students and staff. Thus, it’s important to ensure volunteers are safe and held accountable from the time they step foot onto campus to the moment they leave.
The introduction of new safety technology has changed the way educational leaders think about protecting everyone in their classrooms. Equipped with the capability to accurately locate any visitor and volunteer on campus in real time during emergencies, now is the time for district leaders to explore the benefits of a strong visitor management system.
Effective school leaders know that protecting your school’s community is of utmost importance when creating a holistic safety plan. A visitor management system is a valuable tool in monitoring volunteers during their time on campus, while also safeguarding students and staff—supporting a safe environment for everyone.
The Importance of Volunteers in Your Schools
There’s a myriad of ways volunteers help cultivate an inspiring environment where students come to learn and grow.
First, volunteers build a better-educated community. Volunteers bring with them new experiences and perspectives that students can connect to in different subject areas, such as STEM, arts, and humanities. Volunteers in specific subject areas can alleviate some of the burden teachers have for covering various subjects every day. They can also help high school students prepare college and job applications, helping them succeed in the classroom and beyond.
Next, volunteers create a sense of belonging. Extra-curricular activities after the school day ends play a pivotal role in kids’ social and mental well-being. These activities—typically run by volunteers—give students a sense of belonging by integrating them within the community and giving them opportunities to bond with peers. Thanks to the volunteers who run extracurriculars, students feel connected to and included in their community, which is essential for optimal development.
Finally, volunteers establish a positive self-image in students. High workloads, bullying, and lack of self-confidence all lower a student’s feeling of self-worth, and their teachers may not have the resources or time to give them the care and attention they deserve. Volunteer mentors can play a huge role in reversing these issues by meeting students where they are with empathy, compassion, and a listening ear. Schools that prioritize volunteer mentorship can see higher graduation rates, better attitudes toward school, and enhanced interpersonal skills.
Notably, volunteers themselves also reap the rewards of their time spent in classrooms. A 2021 online survey of over 1,000 people who volunteered in education found that:
- 80% or more reported benefits for their communication, influencing, and relationship skills.
- 79% agreed their sense of mission at work improved as a result of volunteering in education.
- 84% described benefits for their motivation in day-to-day life outside of work.
- 44% reported manager recognition for the impact of their volunteering.
- 94% felt they gained a better understanding of societal/social issues.
How a Visitor Management System can Protect Your District
While on campus, volunteers interact directly with students and staff on a daily basis and get a glimpse of the inner workings of a school’s community. They can bring a positive presence to school classrooms, but as guests on campus, they come with a few safety concerns. Monitoring volunteers’ time and location on campus helps hold them accountable for their actions, protect others, and ensure a swift and accurate response if an incident arises.
Though no educational leader would knowingly endanger students and staff, when it comes to volunteers on campus, you should err on the side of caution to keep your district safe. New digital security solutions equip educational leaders with the tools necessary to amp up their visitor management processes. As a result, you can welcome new, vetted volunteers to your district without compromising school security. Additionally, volunteers feel confident that their safety is a priority, especially in the midst of an emergency.
From digitized volunteer applications to real-time monitoring of visitors on your campus, your district deserves the best-in-class safety tools to keep your classrooms secure.
The CENTEGIX Visitor Management System arms you with the power to protect and monitor the safety of your schools at all times. The carefully crafted system serves your district by offering:
- Visitor screening
- Run sexual offender background checks for every visitor before they enter campus.
- Screen all visitors through a custom banned persons list.
- Options for attended visitor check-ins with a school staff member or unattended check-ins through an on-site kiosk.
- Instant notification alerts
- Discreet notification options for visitor potential matches during visitor screening.
- Emails and SMS text notifications for potential matches to the banned persons list.
- Access check-in or emergency information immediately.
- Secure student checkout
- Screen individuals through custody and sex offender background checks before releasing students in the event of early dismissals.
- Print hall passes for early releases and tardies.
- Detailed reporting for all activities
- Record teacher, substitute, staff, and volunteer hours down to the minute.
- All activities sync automatically to your Student Management System for up-to-date reports.
- View all photos taken at check-in and review all background checks.
- Use custom filters to find the information you need quickly.
- Access your reports on any internet-connected device.
- Export reports to a CSV or TSV file and share them with your team.
- Integrations with partners
- Sync student meeting, daily, and time attendance codes directly to your SIS with our PowerSchool and OneRoster integrations.
- Already a Sterling Volunteers customer? Our integration allows you to sync volunteer applications for better management.
- Our purchasing co-op partnerships with TIPS and 1GPA allow you to skip the RFP process for streamlined acquisition.
The CENTEGIX Visitor Management System holds the Seamless Data Exchange badge, verifying the ability to send data between system partners in real time to provide your district with top-level management for all your schools’ needs.
Digital Transformation Offers Enhanced Protection for Your Schools
Using innovative digital tools can transform not only your visitor management process, but the security of your entire district, improving safety for all of those on campus.
CENTEGIX Visitor Management makes monitoring who’s coming in and out of your schools easy, ensuring that only authorized visitors and volunteers are allowed on campus. But CENTEGIX’s system goes even further with the Enhanced Visitor Management feature. Enhanced Visitor Management utilizes the CENTEGIX network, Safety Blueprint™, and CrisisAlert™ to provide you with the real-time location of visitors while on school grounds.
CENTEGIX Safety Blueprint uniquely provides a comprehensive map of campus that serves as the foundation for a school’s emergency response plan. The maps are fully customizable and can be “layered” to serve the specific needs and assets of different departments including facilities, security, and IT. Editing and updating of building features or grounds are managed within the application and are reflected throughout the platform, streamlining the safety coverage of your volunteers and wider school communities.
To bring you Enhanced Visitor Management, Safety Blueprint works in tandem with the CENTEGIX Visitor Badge—a wearable badge that identifies visitors on campus and can instantly notify appropriate personnel in any type of emergency. CENTEGIX’s Visitor Management system immediately recognizes high-risk visitors from the moment they attempt to check into the school, performing real-time security checks through banned person databases and monitoring them using CENTEGIX’s campus location network.
Notably, all elements of the platform function on a private network that is wire-free and easy to install, removing the reliance on spotty Wi-Fi or cellular service that could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
Join the CENTEGIX Community
CENTEGIX empowers educational leaders focused on school safety to build the right visitor management solution for their districts. CENTEGIX’s Visitor Management system is a critical component of a multi-layered approach to school safety.
CENTEGIX is your partner for safety solutions that promote a positive learning environment so that students and staff can focus on what matters most.
Dive into the ways CENTEGIX’s Visitor Management system can enhance your school’s security at https://www.centegix.com/visitor-management.