South Orangetown Central School District

Over the past year, the District has reviewed and strengthened a number of security protocols in our schools. Our elementary schools redesigned their afternoon pickup processes in January to keep buildings secure during dismissal. At William O. Schaefer Elementary School and South Orangetown Middle School, lunch drop off and student sign-outs now occur in the lobby. And, last month, Tappan Zee High School reinstated the enforcement of its policy prohibiting food delivery during school hours to protect the integrity of the school day and strengthen building security.

As part of this ongoing effort, a digital visitor management system will be introduced at all four of our schools on Tuesday, November 12. The new system will better allow us to screen visitors, contractors and volunteers entering our schools and enhance our ability to provide a safe environment for students and staff.

What visitors can expect

  • All visitors who wish to enter a school building beyond the security desk and parents/guardians who pick up their children earlier than the normal dismissal time will be required to present government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to the security guard.
  • The ID will either be scanned or manually entered into the visitor management system.
  • Once cleared, the security guard will return visitors’ ID, ask them to sign in and provide them with a pre-printed badge with their photo on it to wear at all times in the building.
  • Visitors will then be directed to proceed to their destination. Visitors are approved only to go to the specific destination requested and may not go to any other area of a school without returning to the security desk for approval.
  • Upon leaving the school, visitors must sign out at the security desk and return the badge to the security guard. Returned badges will be destroyed upon receipt.
  • Screening will occur at all schools during the school day only: 9:15AM-3:30PM for WOS and CLE and 8:15AM-3:00PM for SOMS and TZHS.

What if I do not have a government-issued ID?

Visitors who do not have a government-issued ID may present an official document bearing their full name and date of birth, such as a birth certificate, voter registration card, insurance card, Medicaid card or bank card. These visitors will be required to have their photograph taken by the security guard to be entered into the system for screening.

What does the visitor management system do?

  • The visitor management system will check to ensure that registered sex offenders do not enter our schools without our knowledge. The system checks the visitor’s name and date of birth for comparison with its own aggregated database of official sex offender registries from all 50 states. The system’s own database is the only database checked. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and no visitor information is sent to or shared with any outside agency.
  • The system will also check for court-issued custodial orders, restraining orders and other custom alerts as established by the District.
  • The new system reads 2D barcodes and Machine-Readable Zones to check visitor identification data against its database. The system does not use facial recognition technology or facial database matching.

For additional information, view the Frequently Asked Questions posted on the Visiting SOCSD webpage.