Arlington, VA

Arlington Public Schools has implemented a new identification system for all visitors entering schools starting Tuesday, September 3.

Whether picking up a child or visiting a staff member, all first-time visitors — including parents, volunteers, and contractors — must register in the district-wide Visitor Management System (VMS), according to a statement from APS. In order to register, visitors must provide an approved form of identification along with the nature of their visit.

School spokesman Frank Bellavia told ARLnow APS implemented the program “as part of our safety and security enhancements and to streamline visitor management at all schools,” and is fully covered in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

Accepted forms of identification include:

  • United States or foreign issued driver’s license
  • United States or foreign issued driver’s license
  • United States or foreign government identification
  • United States or foreign military identification
  • State Department of Motor Vehicles’ photo identification card
  • United States or foreign government-issued passport
  • Permanent Resident Card (i.e. Green Card)
  • Re-entry Permit
  • Arlington Public Schools Alternate Parent Identification Card

The initial registry includes a screening against the Commonwealth of Virginia and Federal sex offender registries.

In order to qualify for the Alternate Parent Identification, the visitor must be a parent or legal guardian listed on a student’s online information file.

“For example, an aunt who is the emergency contact for an enrolled student who is not the parent or legal guardian would not be eligible [for the Alternate Parent Identification],” wrote officials in the statement.

Once admitted, visitors must wear a temporary printed badge at all times. In order to exit the school, they must go through the same kiosk and use the barcode on their temporary identification to check out.

Following the February 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, then-APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy stressed safety as a top priority, noting APS officials have been strictly “reinforcing” and “double-checking” awareness of school visitors at all times.

File photo

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