Mola Lenghi, Arlington Reporter
Arlington ISD's new visitor check-in system requires photo ID scanned into a computerized system.
The Arlington school district is ramping up its security with technology already in place in several other North Texas districts.
The days of signing in on a sheet of paper when visiting a school are gone. The district installed high-tech scanners to keep track of visitors.
"The most important thing is student safety at the schools," said David Gutierrez, principal at South Davis Elementary School.
The Arlington Independent School District invested in V-Soft, a computer program that scans IDs and submits the information to a nationwide database.
"It goes through all the various systems that are available to determine if there's a criminal record on that person, particularly any incidents with children," district spokeswoman Amy Casas said.
If so, administrators are immediately notified via email and text message.
Once a person is entered into V-Soft, he or she remains there. Because the system is constantly updating, schools will be notified if someone who previously entered into the system later develops a criminal record.
AISD schools do not have a standard screening or check-in process currently in place. School administrators say V-Soft would take some getting used to.
"We think that the system will be very, very beneficial," Gutierrez said. "It'll be an adjustment for parents to have to provide a picture ID every time they walk in."
"We don't want your parents to feel unwelcome," Casas said. "This is not something we're doing to limit access for our parents and our community to our schools. Simply, it's just an extra measure of safety we're taking for our student's sake."