NEWPORT, Ky. — Parents and other adults visiting a Newport public school during regular hours must have an ID on hand.
Newport Independent Schools installed the new background-checking software, Raptor, which scans visitors’ IDs before they go beyond a school’s main office, according to a school district spokesperson.
The system checks the information against sex-offender registries in all 50 states, and a customizable database created by the district. Rusty Adams is the technology coordinator for Newport schools. He said Raptor is the latest in a string of safety upgrades in the district.
“Over the past few years, we have made a lot of static improvements to our school buildings like door buzzers, improved entryways, and more security cameras,” Adams said in a written statement. “But we believed that we could further improve our procedure for admitting visitors and Raptor seemed like the perfect complement to our other security initiatives.”
If school staff members don’t find any problems with a visitor’s ID, they will print a badge for the visitor with their name, a photo and destination within the school. If school employees identify a match, the system notifies school administrators who may choose to notify police or tell the visitor why they cannot enter the school.
The YouTube video below explains how the Raptor system works:
Newport Independent Schools isn’t the first in the Tri-State to utilize the new check-in safety system. Lakota Local Schools started using Raptor in August, 2018, at the start of the school year.
Within the first ten days Superintendent Matthew Miller told WCPO that the system had notified administrators about somebody coming into the building.
“It wasn’t anything serious but they did notify us,” Miller said at the time.
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Parents and visitors in Newport can approach the main office without an ID, but visitors need their ID to go beyond the office.
The Raptor system replaces the standard “pen-and-paper visitor’s form,” according to a news release. Through the system, the district can also track statistics including the number of visitors throughout the year and volunteer hours.
WCPO'S Paola Suro contributed to this report.