Visitors Appreciating New VMS System

Owen Martzke, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Academy is the beneficiary of two school safety grants from the State of Wisconsin. The grant money totals over $65,000 and is to be used for security improvements and staff safety training.

The security improvements include security film for all exterior doors, an internal camera system, automatic door closing and locking mechanisms, and the Visitor Management and Screening System or VMS. The purchase of these safety features was encouraged by the state with the grant money the school received.

These new safety features will be installed during this semester of the school year with the help and guidance of the NDA maintenance crew. It is exciting to know that some features are already in place such as the VMS system in the atrium.

The VMS system will check all visitors against registered sex offender lists before they are granted access to the school building. This affects any visitor who is at NDA between 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They will be required to present photo identification, give vehicle information and have their picture taken by the VMS. They will be given a visitor badge that must be worn at all times during their visit and returned to the atrium once they leave.

The VMS system has only been in place for a week, but it already seems to be working out very well.

“The new VMS has been working well… visitors are very pleased with the process and increased security,”  said Mrs. Cathy Kirschling, who facilitates the process at the atrium desk.

The VMS works to make visiting the school a simple yet safe experience for those who are visiting.

“It is very user friendly if you are prepared with identification. It also accommodates multiple languages which is helpful with our Hispanic community,” she said.

The system is not without its flaws though. If there are several guests arriving at the school at once, it can cause a backup of visitors waiting in the atrium. This is just a slight inconvenience, but with the virtue of patience the experience is much better.

Overall, Notre Dame is very thankful to have received the grant money from the State and is putting it to good use. The new camera systems, door features and VMS system are all amazing additions to the school and make Notre Dame Academy a safer place for all who walk the halls.