How Raptor Visitor Management Helped During Hurricane Ian, And Other Safety Solutions
The importance of a visitor management system in school safety may not be immediately associated with weather emergencies. However, when Hurricane Ian struck Florida in September 2022, it was the Raptor Visitor Management system that Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) relied upon for safety, accountability, and peace of mind. The district’s school buildings were used as public shelters, offering refuge to many. Despite the potential for safety challenges unrelated to the weather, the district was prepared, thanks to innovative thinking, strong leadership, and the efficient technology of the Raptor system.
In a recent episode of School Safety Today, host Michelle Dawn Mooney invited Sergeant Kyle Worthington, the Threat Management Coordinator at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, to delve deeper into this exceptional circumstance.
Sergeant Worthington shared how the Raptor system was instrumental in maintaining community safety. It enabled schools to check in and out all shelter guests, and even ensured that registered sex offenders were kept separate from students.
As the 12th largest school district in Florida and the 60th largest in the nation, SCPS employs the Raptor Visitor Management system for a range of other purposes as well. These include generating end-of-day reports to track teachers’ hours for grant-funded training, and managing staff accountability measures involving building movement.
While acknowledging that no single solution can fit all situations, Worthington stated, “We kind of use technology to assist us in that layered approach, but more importantly, it’s about partnerships. It’s about partnerships with the community because it takes a village. You need partnerships not only with your law enforcement agencies but all of your community organizations… at the end of the day, it’s about the students, keeping them safe.”
With 20 years of Army service and 16 years at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, Sergeant Worthington brings a wealth of experience to his role as the threat management coordinator for the local school district. SCPS benefits from a unique partnership, being one of the few Florida school districts with a Sheriff’s Office Captain overseeing and being responsible for the district’s office of school safety.