School safety is a top priority for school administrators today. Physical improvements, like surveillance systems and secure entrances, help create an environment of greater security. Still, school officials are now also focusing on communication tools to address emergencies as quickly and efficiently as possible. By equipping faculty, staff, and students with access to communication networks specifically designed for school safety, good outcomes can come from an emergency. Leveraging technology to foster school safety is seeing increased focus from school districts nationwide — school administrators may only feel partially prepared for the worst-case scenario but having these proactive tools in place gives everyone involved much greater peace of mind. Code Ana has found schools they support use some of the tools below. Check them out and see how your school can use technology to support any emergency.
RAVE Panic Button
This app is used by schools for free throughout the state of Louisana through grants and is used by schools across the country. By using geo-mapping and integration with your communities emergency response system, this app can lead first responders to the exact locations of emergencies. There are functions for different kinds of emergencies from intruders to medical emergencies so that the correct first responders are called. Along with communication with first responders, this communication app allows school staff to communicate with each other about what kind of emergency is happening.
Text Em All
For schools that may not want to take on large-scale implementation, Text Em All is a mass text messaging and call automation system that allows for immediate alerts sent out to school staff, administrators, or the parent community. While it can also be used for normal communication with reminders and scheduled communications, Text Em All can allow for communication quickly between staff with broadcasts and the ability to message back and forth. Having a specific app for school communications, staff can set up their phones to allow this to come through even on silent.
Similar to RAVE Panic Button, Safer Watch integrates with emergency response systems in your community to provide first responders with up-to-date and accurate information about emergency situations. Safer Watch also provides an anonymous reporting feature that can be utilized by staff and community members to alert law enforcement of emergencies. This type of reporting can also be sent to administrators and school security. Location-based communication allows law enforcement and administration to send information to anyone in the area with vital information quickly. SaferWatch also provides a grant finder to help you fund this program at your school.
While not explicitly a school safety app, SchoolPass can secure your campus and alert you to any suspicious visitors through its tracking system. Security can track what cars come on campus through surveillance and be alerted when unwanted cars or unexpected cars come. During an emergency, administrators can receive real-time attendance information with locations. When there is not an emergency, SchoolPass helps schools streamline attendance and dismissals to ensure that every day is a safe day!