MCPS Implements New Guest Sign-In System


Photo by Brendan Stewart

The new visitor sign-in machine located in the main office. The machines have been installed in schools throughout the county.

Anna Stewart, News Managing Editor

Five months after the new guest sign-in system was implemented at RHS in October 2018, other schools are now also installing the system in their main offices throughout the county.  

The check-in system requires that all visitors scan their driver’s licenses or other form of ID into a machine located in the main office upon entering the school. It is linked to the secretaries’ computers and will notify them if the name on the ID matches any name on a list of all registered sex offenders in the U.S. If the name and picture on the ID match the ones on the registry, the person is denied any further access to the building.

Assuming that the guest is not a registered sex offender, the computer then fills in the guest’s information and they must select the category that they fall into (visitor, volunteer, etc.), the person they are visiting (guidance, principal, etc.) and the reason for the visit. A picture is taken of them and a sticker is printed out that they must wear until they leave the building.  A security guard or other staff member must escort guests to their destination who then must sign-out before leaving.

“We understand the importance of [the new system] and we’ve gotten used to it,” secretary Marilyn Rossie said. “The only thing that I really don’t like is that people have to use their license every time they sign in.  With the other system we had, once they were in the system we could just pull up their name and print a badge for them.”

RHS was one of few schools in the county testing out the new system, but it has since been implemented in all MCPS schools.

“I don’t think it’s excessive at all. It keeps the school safe so we know who’s in the building at all times,” security guard Will Morris said. “Safety of the children is all that matters to me.”