Roanoke, VA - School districts across the commonwealth are getting some help to improve security.
Governor McDonnell announced that $6 million in grants have been awarded to more than 400 schools in Virginia including many in our area.
Some $100,000 of the grant money went to Roanoke City Schools, who will use it to help pay for a new security measure.
Tuesday, the district unveiled an enhanced visitor management system which will be noticed by anyone who visits any of that district's schools.
Assistant Superintendent Kurt Baker says the change has been in the works for more than a year now. Part of the change will require every visitor to produce a picture ID.
"It's the start of a process and not the end of the process. We continue to look every day for ways to make our schools safe a great places to learn. It's really important that we provide that for all of our students and the families of our community," Baker said.
With the new system, the visitor inserts a driver license into a reader which then sends the information directly to office management.
Added to that information are notations on reasons for the visit.
A picture is also taken which is then added to the visitor pass.
"That picture will be prominently on the badge so when somebody is walking through our halls we know the person that is actually on that badge we can tell by seeing that picture," RCPS Spokesman Justin McLeod.
Visitors must also now check out as well, allowing school leaders keep exact track of who is coming and going.
The information will now be compiled and immediately available to all schools across the district.
"Again, it goes to who's in our buildings and why are they there so we can monitor at all times what is happening within our walls," Baker said.
Still to come are special stickers that will also be attached to the visitor pass. Those stickers turn red when a visitor stays beyond the time that person is supposed to be on campus.