Newhall School District expected to approve new security system

May 4, 2018. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

Following in the footsteps of other districts in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Newhall School District is expected to approve and implement a new school-site security system in advance of the upcoming school year.

Whether it’s the new fence at Valley View or the electronic systems being installed in the Saugus Union and Sulphur Springs Union school districts, nearly every district in the SCV has considered implementing additional security measures at school sites for the upcoming year.

In the past six months, the Newhall School District has piloted two visitor-management systems at its schools, board President Philip Ellis said. Each was designed to provide the district with a standardized and efficient method to process visitors, but district staff believes the LobbyGuard system more closely aligns with the district’s needs.

“We wanted to be able to identify who comes to our sites,” Ellis said. “This system works because it creates identifiable badges and checks for people who we’d like to exclude from campus for various reasons.”

The LobbyGuard system begins when visitors enter the office and scan their driver’s license or other form of identification, Ellis said. After reading visitors’ identification, the system will then cross-reference the information against the national sex offender registry database.

Similar to the Raptor system that was installed in other districts, LobbyGuard is a fully integrated visitor-management system that has the ability to take a picture of visitors and print the photo on a identification badge, which will be worn by visitors on campus at all times.

The system allows each school to have an improved level of access, control and identification, Ellis said, because schools will now be able to tag individuals who shouldn’t be allowed on campus

“If an individual who has been banned from a campus or matches the sex offenders database makes an attempt to gain entrance,” the agenda states, “an email and text message is immediately sent to the school’s administration and office.”

Staff has recommended purchasing a total of 13 LobbyGuard units for its 10 school sites and the Newhall Preschool office, the agenda reads. The district will keep a spare unit and install an extra one at Pico Canyon Elementary School due to its current volume of visitors.

The initial cost of the 13 security systems would be $26,610 after a discount of $17,150, according to the quote from LobbyGuard. This includes the software, necessary equipment and staff training.
“Beginning in year two, the annual budgetary commitment for 11 systems would be $5,500, which represents the license fee, plus the cost of supplies,” the agenda states. “All new releases are included in the single license fee, which ensures the most current system is in use at all times.”

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