Raptor system providing tighter security for local schools

RANTOUL — The Raptor Security System is a background check software system which has been in use by the Rantoul City Schools for about a month after it was approved by the RCS board in January. The system has been implemented in all four RCS elementary schools and JW Eater Junior High School.

In January, the board approved installing the system at a cost of $8,500.

Rantoul Township High School has had its own Raptor system since the beginning of the school year.

“A parent will never go to a school in Rantoul without seeing this system,” Matt Ross, RCS school resource officer said.

The software scans an ID such as a driver’s license. The system checks people through all 50 state databases to see if they are in any of the sex offender databases.

The system will scan information such as names, birthday and the last four digits of the ID. If no alerts come up from the system then a name tag will then be printed out with that information so they can be identified and where they are going in the school.

If a situation happens that a visitor is in the sex offender database, the system will issue an alert and that person will not be allowed to enter the school.

The Raptor system can have other uses such as uploading orders of protection and a Department of Children and Family Services safety plan.

“If we do have a parent that is maybe not supposed to have contact with a child, I can upload it into here,” Ross said. “It pretty much is a software to make sure that those people cannot get inside the building and have contact with any children or students.”

When a visitor is given a name tag after it is printed, it will also list a destination on where they are supposed to be, such as a classroom or cafeteria.

Before a parent or the person visiting leaves the building, they must give the name tag back, so it can be discarded.

Another benefit of the system is that it can also be use to manage the students, the software is joined in with the old RCS system known as Skyward, but it takes no longer, and there is no paper log for students to sign out.

“We found since we have had the Raptor System, because the Skyward is integrated into Raptor, so as soon as we check a kid out on the Raptor system, it shows all the people that are approved to get the student out of school,” Ross said. “We’re not experiencing any sort of delay or inconvenience.”

Ross said parents have given positive feedback of the system and realize that the background check is a process they must go through, to provide security for the students.

“Parents have all liked it, because they are happy that we are taking the extra step to protect the students and the children,” Ross said. “We haven’t had any kickback as far as people not wanting to show their IDs or anything like that. They have an understanding on why we need that information.”

RTHS Principal Todd Wilson when the school begin implementing it, information was sent to families, “letting them know that if they were coming into the school that they would need to bring in their ID.”

“The system scans to see if someone is on a sex offender registry. We can also self-program into it, if we know of people have orders of protection against one of our students.”

Notifications such as signs are on the main entrance doors to let parents know about needing to bring an ID and that they will be checked.

Rantoul resident Debbra Sweat has used the Raptor Security System a few times at RTHS. Overall, Sweat is in favor of the security system.

“I believe it is a great tool to track visitors and parents coming in and out of the school for the safety of the students and staff,” Sweat said. “To me, it appears to put more responsibility on the office staff when guests enter.”

Sweat said there was a situation where a parent’s name was entered and the results brought up a couple of matches of someone with the same name, but the situation was sorted out when they were able to figure out that the parent was not that same person.

“One of the names reflected an individual with the same name who had a felony background,” Sweat said. “It was a little embarrassing on both sides, but it was quickly sorted out by the birth date and other information on the person’s ID.”

btheobald@rantoulpress.com

Categories (2):News, Education

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