New check-in system introduced at Park Side

Photo by Jenny Kirk Park Side Elementary School Administrative Assistant Laura Nybo, left, helped walk parent Katie Widboom through the process of signing in recently using a new, more manageable and secure system.

MARSHALL — A new visitor check-in system was recently installed at Park Side Elementary School, allowing for better management of visitors and improved security overall.

The new iPad kiosk replaces the former orange badge system.

Park Side Principal Darci Love was instrumental in implementing the new system, which requires visitors to give their name and identify if they are a parent, volunteer, student teacher, substitute or other.

“The visitor gives relevant information and then the iPad snaps a quick photo or them and prints a badge,” Love said. “Another nice feature is that is will send the staff member an email that they have a visitor there to see them and they will also see the photo of that person. We do not expect staff to monitor their email for visitors and will still call, but it is a nice feature.”

By using the new program, school officials are better able to track the visitors.

“It’s really cool,” said Laura Nybo, Park Side administrative assistant. “We welcome them to Park Side and ask how we can help them even before we unlock the doors. Then we let them in, they come to the office and sign in on the iPad.”

This past Thursday, it took Nybo about two seconds to pinpoint that there were 66 visitors in the building — with all of them wearing the new visitor kiosk badges.

“There’s an evacuation form that we can quickly print off if something were to go on and we needed to know how many visitors were in the building,” Nybo said. “As opposed to the old system, we can get those names right away now if we need to.”

Love noted that the orange badge system was not only a less than ideal way to track visitors, they were actually “very expensive” as well.

“This is a very cost effective and efficient solution,” she said.

Nybo added that most of the feedback has been positive so far.

“Most people like it, especially for the extra security of it,” she said. “Sometimes people have to wait a little bit for their turn to sign in or out, but I think the security aspect outweighs the wait.”

Special education paraprofessional Amy Nuy said she sees the new system as beneficial in a variety of ways, including the visual aspect.

“I absolutely love the new identification system,” Nuy said. “I hated those orange tags because you couldn’t read them very well. It was usually filled out with a pen, so you couldn’t read them unless you got up close to the person. These new ones not only have (easier-to-read) names, but they also have the date and their picture on it.”

The visitor kiosk has been in place for nearly a month, so repeat visitors have the process down. Visitor information and photos are also stored, which helps speed up future visits. Coupled with security cameras, the new system potentially provides a safer environment for students and staff at the school.

Marshall Superintendent Scott Monson said Park Side is piloting the new visitor check-in system. If all goes well, the system could be expanded to other buildings in the district.

“Depending on the feedback we receive, we may implement this visitor management system at other sites in future years,” Monson said.