McLean County Public Schools has begun implementing several new safety procedures for schools after a state bill was signed earlier this year related to school safety regulations.

The state bill will implement several new policies throughout the next two years to increase school safety. Some of these policies relate to increasing school security, handling trauma in children, terroristic threatening and requiring schools to increase communication with law enforcement agencies, according to the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission website.

MCPS began its efforts in increasing safety earlier this month by requiring each visitor to present a state ID or driver's license at the front desk upon entering the school.

While it is just a start, MCPS Assistant Superintendent and School Safety Coordinator Ashley Troutman said that it will help schools regulate who is coming in and out of the building and to ensure each person is who they say they are.

"Daviess County has been doing this for several years and it's been a best practice for a while," he said.

Troutman said the school board is also looking at how other schools are increasing security with visitors.

"We're looking at different systems that some of the other schools are using and the most common one is called Raptor," he said.

Raptor Visitor Management Systems is a scanner that connects to a national database that would provide schools with a background check for visitors within just seconds, according to Troutman.

This might be useful, he said, when handling certain situations, such as custody issues where one parent or guardian has revoked custody rights and is attempting to check out a child.

"From the time someone left the courthouse and drove to Calhoun Elementary, that information would already be uploaded into the database," Troutman said.

Upfront costs for this type of system would be about $15,000 to purchase an ID scanner for each school at about $3,000 per scanner for each of the five schools in the county, according to Troutman. There would also be an annual hosting service agreement fee that would be based on the number of students per school.

Troutman said each school is also assigned to a state compliance officer that would do annual visits to provide schools with an assessment on whether they are adhering to new state safety regulations and to provide improvement feedback to each school.

cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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