School Access for Visitors

  • Boston Public Schools extends a warm welcome to parents and others to visit our schools. At the same time, we must ensure that our students and staff are safe and learning is not disrupted. Schools must be aware of who is in the building and why they are there. All schools have a video buzz-in system so that no one can enter the building without the knowledge of the office staff. Middle schools, high schools, and many K-8 schools have security professionals on-site.

    In addition, we have developed the following guidelines for school visitors. “Visitors” include parents and school department employees, as well as others.

    • All visitors must identify themselves, show photo identification, and give the reason for their visit before being granted access to the building. If they do not have a photo ID, a school administrator or their designee should be advised and talk with the individual requesting access. (Please see Superintendent Circular SAF-12 School Access for the most updated information regarding School Access while Covid-19 protocols are in effect. Once Covid-19 protocols are lifted, the procedures outlined below will be implemented). 
    • After being granted access, all visitors must sign in and show their photo identification again. Visitors must sign out before leaving. Some schools have a desk near the main entrance where visitors may sign in and out. If no one is at the desk, the visitor must go to the main office. The staff granting access to the visitor must ensure they follow sign-in procedures.
    • All visitors will receive a visitor’s pass when they sign in. They must return it to the office or sign-in desk when they leave. Please be sure the pass is visible while you are in the school or on school property. Visitor passes may be required at Open Houses, Parent Nights, or other school-sponsored events open to the public at the discretion of the school leader/designee.
    • For the safety of our students and staff, we will consider visitors who do not sign in and cannot show a visitor’s pass to be trespassing. A school staff member may ask them to leave the building and school property.
    • Visitors who want to meet with a teacher or administrator must make an appointment. Teachers have time each week set aside to meet with parents. No appointment is necessary for conferences at Open Houses, Parent Nights, or other school-sponsored events open to the public. All appointments/meetings with school staff occur in a predetermined location in the vicinity of the main office or another staffed area of the building. 
    • Any staff expecting a visitor should notify the office with the individual’s name and reason for the visit. 
    • Sometimes there may be a problem between a parent/guardian and a teacher or other staff member. If a meeting is scheduled to address the problem, it will occur in the office or a conference room—not in the classroom. The parent/guardian must follow regular access/ sign-in procedures and report to the main office. The parent/guardian will be escorted to the meeting place, and a school administrator will be present at the meeting.
    • If parents must pick up their child before the regular dismissal, they should first call the school office. They should pick up their child in the office or other location named by the school. Parents may not go directly to the classroom to pick up their children. The school will not release a student to anyone other than a custodial parent without the parent’s consent and proper identification.
    • Occasionally parents or other visitors have disrupted school activities by insisting on visiting classrooms unannounced, harassing staff, shouting, or using inappropriate language. If such disruptive behavior continues, the school administrator may restrict the individual’s visits or deny future access to the building and school property.
    • Click here for information on CORI/SORI checks for school volunteers.