SEVIERVILLE –Members of the Sevier County Board of Education will meet Monday to consider purchasing software capable of checking the sex offender status and criminal background of campus visitors in an average of 30 seconds or less.
According to a memorandum to board members from Stacia Lewis, director of elementary education for the Sevier County School System, only one bid was received for a visitor/volunteer/student management system.
She indicated that KeepnTrack, which is a company based in Utah, met all specifications of the school system’s bid process. Lewis recommends in her letter that the new vendor be approved and that KeepnTrack be put into use this academic year.
A copy of the request for proposals evaluation form included with the memo indicates the bid from KeepnTrack shows a cost of $1,723 per facility for the software system, plus “$499 per year hosting after first year.” There are 25 SCSS buildings serving K-12 students, plus four specialty schools.
“Yes, sex offender checks are automatically run on every visitor,” company officials say on the firm’s product information page. “KeepnTrack uses more than 1,000 sources to give you accurate information about your visitors. … If there is a potential match, KeepnTrack discreetly informs your staff. Alerts can be sent to selected people by email or text.”
Federal, state and local databases are used in compiling search results, according to the company’s website.
The product description also tells potential customers that school staffers do not have to be present in order to process visitors. A self-service kiosk can be used, though KeepnTrack officials suggest having a staffer present if possible to assist with any user questions.
KeepnTrack can take and store photographs. It can also scan identification cards, and the program is available in English and Spanish. A visitor’s Social Security card or number is not required.
The software offers school systems other features, such as an evacuation planning and student management.
In addition to the bid, board members will also consider seven other new items of business during Monday’s meeting:
• Board policy change – revision of Board Policy No. 630 due to a change in state board requirements.
According to a memo from instructional supervisor Tony Stinnett, “This revision is the weighting of local and statewide dual credit courses, capstone industry certification aligned courses and dual enrollment courses. Four points will be added to the grades to calculate the semester average on courses taken on SCSS campuses, as well as courses taken on Walters State Community College campuses.”
• Adoption of nine novels to be used in grades 3-8
• Discussion of kindergarten assessment methods
• Requests for six leaves of absence
• Two use-of-schools requests
• Proposals for five daytime field trips and three overnight field trips
The school board meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. on Monday at 226 Cedar St.
Students return to school on Tuesday for a full day of school. Aug. 31 and Sept. 3 are the first vacation days of the semester, and the 2018-19 academic year is slated to end on May 31, 2019.