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Introducing New School Safety Efforts

Dear District 65 Families,

Over the past year we have been very intentional about making investments to further enhance safety across our schools. In the coming weeks, you will likely see two new systems in place and new procedures going into effect including Hall Pass and SMART tag. Additional information will be forthcoming from your child’s school regarding any specific procedures and rollout plans.

Hall Pass Visitor Management System

Our schools regularly welcome visitors for special events and a variety of occasions. One of the ways we can help keep our schools safe is knowing who is in our buildings. Hall Pass helps to monitor and track visitors, including parents/caregivers, volunteers, vendors, and other visitors. For those who may be familiar, this entry system is similar to the one in place at Evanston Township High School.

  • When entering a school or district facility, visitors will be asked to present identification such as a Driver's License or State ID. We recognize that not everyone may have this form of identification. Individuals may provide school staff with their first and last name as well as date of birth.
  • Hall Pass checks visitor information with an integrated, comprehensive database of registries for every state, the District of Columbia, and Interpol as well as Orders of Protection within our student information system.
    • Please note that the system does NOT check or report on immigration or citizenship status.
  • Approved visitors will be asked to wear a printed name badge with their photo and return it to the main office when leaving the building.

We want to ensure our schools are not only safe but welcoming to all members of our community. Visit our website for Frequently Asked Questions.

SMART tag Bus Rider Cards Pilot Program

SMART tag is a secure system designed to improve the safety and security of students who ride our D65 school buses. SMART tag provides live monitoring to keep administrators and parents/guardians informed.

A pilot is already underway at Chute Middle School and Dawes, Oakton, and Walker elementary schools will begin the pilot of this program in late January. We anticipate rollout across the district in mid-February.

All students who ride a D65 bus to or from school (does not include cab service) will be provided with a SMART tag Bus Rider Card. This is a plastic card that can be worn on a lanyard or kept in a student’s backpack. Students will scan their card when they board and exit the school bus. Our school teams will work with students to help them learn expectations and answer any questions they may have.

Beginning in March, parents and guardians can follow along through the SMART Tag Parent Portal which includes the following features:

  • SMART Alerts noting when the bus will arrive at their child's stop.
  • View the riding history of their student.
  • View a live map of their student's bus when it's on the way to pick them up and while they're on the bus.

Parents/guardians will only have access to view specific information about their child and their bus route. More information on accessing the Portal will be forthcoming.

Please note that the student bus rider cards do not contain any type of tracking mechanism, only the bus itself has a GPS system installed.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support.


With safety in mind,

Dr. Devon Horton (he/him)
Superintendent of Schools