New Visitor Procedures at Hatch Elementary School

Starting Jan. 13, 2020, Hatch Elementary School will ask visitors to sign-in and present identification (such as a driver’s license) to be scanned into our new LobbyGuard digital visitor management system. This is a pilot program for the 2019-20 school year, so all other schools will continue to follow the procedures outlined in the District 97 Visitor Management Policy.

LobbyGuard is a self-serve kiosk that requires visitors to scan a valid driver's license prior to obtaining a badge to enter the school. Upon entry into the office, visitors will use the touch screen at the kiosk to enter information and scan their license. Using the information from a driver’s license or state identification card, the LobbyGuard system will check the scanned information against a national database of registered sex offenders, as well as school-entered information on individuals who are not allowed on building property. Once approved, visitors will obtain a visitor badge and lanyard from the office staff so all guests to the building are easily identified. Any visitor who is not wearing a badge will be escorted back to the front office. If you do not have a driver’s license, please bring another form of valid photo ID or visit ahead of time with the staff in the main office.

Our front office staff will keep either the driver's license or other identification of each visitor entering the school. All visitors must check out before exiting the building and retrieve their driver's license or other identification. LobbyGuard is currently in use at Oak Park and River Forest High School, so parents with students in both districts should be accustomed to the LobbyGuard process.  

This pilot program will also be implemented at Longfellow Elementary School on Monday, January, 27, 2020 and Julian Middle School on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. If you have further questions about LobbyGuard or the procedures, please view the FAQs below or reach out to a school employee.

LobbyGuard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A visitor management system is used to verify the identity of a visitor, keep track of check-in and check-out times, and print custom visitor labels. It also provides a consistent system to track visitors and volunteers across the district. The system provides custom alerts and screens visitor information with a database of registered sex offenders.

The safety of our students is our highest priority. District 97 employees need to keep careful track of who is in our schools and for what purpose. A visitor management system will provide a consistent mechanism for tracking visitors and volunteers across the district, while also preventing people who may present a danger to students and staff members from our entering our buildings. The system quickly prints visitor badges that include a photo, the name of the visitor, time, date, and purpose or visit destination. This will allow all district employees who see visitors to quickly know who they are and where they should be in our school. Any visitors in other locations will be directed to their proper destination and anyone not wearing a badge will be escorted to the office to acquire one.

District 97 is working with LobbyGuard Visitor Management System (LobbyGuard) to run a pilot program in three schools during the 2019-20 school year: Julian, Hatch and Longfellow. In addition to providing a comprehensive visitor management solution, LobbyGuard strives to collect the least amount of information needed to scan for registered sex offenders.

Full name and date of birth are compared to a database that consists of registered sex offenders from all 50 states including Illinois. If a match is found, school administrators and law enforcement personnel can take appropriate steps to keep the schools safe. If no match is found, the system will log the time, date, and check-in and checkout times of the visit and print a custom visitor label.

A first‐time visitor who does not have a valid ID may be granted access, with the building principal’s approval, only after manually running the visitor’s legal name and date of birth through the system. Visitors that do not present an ID on their first visit after implementation of LobbyGuard, will only be allowed in the building with an escort at all times.

Visitors who are leaving an item and will not enter the building past the office will not need to be scanned. Anyone who goes beyond the office or is picking a student up, will need to have their ID scanned.

Children who do not have a valid ID may be allowed to visit as long as an adult who has completed the check‐in process accompanies them at all times.

We will only capture the visitor’s name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders.  Additional visitor data will not be gathered, and no data will be shared with any outside organization or authority.

District 97 employees who do not have an employee badge visible must follow the same procedure and wear the school‐issued badge.

Volunteers must follow the same procedures as any visitor. Identity must be verified with an acceptable form of identification (i.e. driver’s license or state ID).  

Contractors, subcontractors, and vendors must be checked the same as any visitor. If identity cannot be acceptably verified, they will not be allowed on district property. Acceptable forms of identification include driver’s license, state ID, U.S. military ID, or passport.

If the visitor is a known uniformed government employee, no. If the visitor is not a known government employee, yes. Again, this is to allow us to know who is in our schools at all times and to not assume people are who they say they are without providing proper identification. Police and fire personnel visiting a school on official business may access the building by presenting their respective badge.

The database will only store visitors’ full names and dates of birth.

The LobbyGuard system will only be used during school hours and when children are present.

The system, like any computer search system, uses set criteria to lookup, find and match names. When a match is made between the visitor and the first/last name and date of birth of a registered offender, the user is prompted with a picture and description of the offender. The system will prompt the user with questions and at that time the user has the option to indicate if the visitor is or is not a match with the registered offender. If “Yes” is selected, email and text alerts are automatically sent to building administrators. If “No” is selected, the visitor will be placed in a mismatched folder and will not be pulled up against that one offender again.

Unfortunately, yes.  Family Watchdog relies on publicly available data. If an offender moves and does not report to the county sheriff in which they reside, they will not show in the database. They will still appear from the old address on the original record unless that the state registry dropped that record.

The District 97 LobbyGuard visitor system only checks against the registered sex offender database Family Watchdog. However, the LobbyGuard system can be programmed to check a “custom alert” database populated by school administration officials to electronically remind front office personnel of issues. District 97 will use these custom alerts for custody issues and orders of protection.

The LobbyGuard system strives to require as little information as possible from visitors while still being able to provide the school with the information needed to uniquely and accurately identify entrants and provide for enhanced safety at the school. In order to screen out sex offenders from entering the campus, the minimum information required is full name, date of birth, and photo identification.

LobbyGuard partnered with Family Watchdog to provide a unified search of sex offender databases.  Family Watchdog reports updates to the registered sex offender database twice per day.

The district owns the data created by its use of the LobbyGuard system (all visitor data, custom alerts, visitor logs, etc.). LobbyGuard maintains ownership of the software and the sex offender database (used by all LobbyGuard clients). LobbyGuard does not use the data except as requested by the client (i.e., to create a custom report, etc.). The district may at any time terminate its relationship with LobbyGuard and request that all data provided by District 97 be copied to storage media and returned to the district or destroyed. In such an event, no backup or other copies will be maintained by LobbyGuard.  LobbyGuard does not sell any client or demographic data to any outside entity and does not use that data for any purpose other than visitor management for District 97.

LobbyGuard Technologies, Inc. utilizes some of the most advanced technology for Internet security available. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology protects the data using both server authentication and data encryption, ensuring that the data is secure and only available to the subscribing school or facility. The protected data is inaccessible to anyone not authorized to view the information. Strict access policies, 256-bit encryption, firewalls, and private secure bandwidth are in use to ensure the highest standards for our security requirements. Data is stored on the LobbyGuard servers behind a firewall which requires a unique ID and password, through an operating system, which requires a second unique ID and password, and inside a database that requires a third unique ID and password.

LobbyGuard Technologies, Inc. (LobbyGuard) warrants that the confidentiality of data from its clients will be maintained according to all Federal and State laws, and any local policies that are communicated to LobbyGuard. LobbyGuard acts as an agent and representative for the client in the storage, import, and/or analysis of data. Access to personal, identifiable data will not be allowed for anyone other than LobbyGuard staff directly responsible for the storage, import, and/or analysis of the data. Data will be provided by LobbyGuard only to persons or entities authorized by District 97. Data will be used by LobbyGuard only according to the terms of the signed agreement with District 97. The data will be physically stored and backed up on servers either in secure LobbyGuard offices in Raleigh, NC or on servers co-located at an Internet service provider secured site. When the project ends, data will be copied to storage media and returned to District 97 or destroyed upon the district’s request. No back-up or other copies will be maintained.