Challenging School Emergency Plans Norms

May 14, 2019

Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping our nation safe. Chicago Tribune

Who can remember walking the halls in school when the loudspeaker announcement came on, “This is an emergency drill’. Students shoved into classrooms and huddled against the wall with every person for themselves mentality. Teachers grabbed the emergency plan binder and signed onto their computer to send their attendance in a spreadsheet.

We’ve come a long way since then.

In keeping schools safe, preparation and prevention are ‘everybody’s responsibility –Chicago Tribune

In a time where assalents are arming themselves with technology, school administrations cannot afford to rely on outdated emergency response plans.

The focus now is on time, and when seconds matter in a crisis, emergency technology can’t be overlooked. Let’s be clear- capitalizing on crisis should not be the intention of an emergency response platform. However, administrators need to be cognizant of emergency platforms functional benefit to student and faculty safety, school climate, and reputation.

Stop Relying On Cameras

Security cameras just don’t cut it anymore. Administrations need to be pragmatic with real-life scenarios where cameras can’t be everywhere and if they are, flipping through channels isn’t something you are emotionally or physically prepared to do during a crisis.

Having the ability to manage constant administrative communication on student attendance and threats using cell phones and computers is reliable and universally connected.

Update Attendance Methods

Since a quick response is the name of the game there is no place for clipboards, spreadsheets, or walkie talkie conversations when accounting for students.

Technology allows us to centralize and integrate our personal devices. Giving teachers the ability to quickly record attendance and location to a central response team cuts down on lost time with confusing communications. Additionally, utilizing student cell phones as a contact method keeps communication open on both ends for increased response time.

Make Alerts More Reliable

If you’re a school administrator reading this, you probably know the struggles of actually getting the technology to send out notifications at the right times, on the right platforms, and to the right people.

That can’t happen.

Technology is increasingly smart with integrations and analytics that are designed to connect parents, faculty, and students. Also, think about how alerts go out for a range of emergency reasons with not all needing the same level of intensity

Cultivate a Safe Space

Research from a Texas State study attests the feeling of school safety is the most important aspect of fostering school climate.

When safety is so important, school security cameras and hall monitors aren’t going to cut it. We have to face the technological world we live in and harness it for an enhanced safety experience to decrease the statistics on school violence.

With a virtual world engaging a whole generation and antagonizing violence, applying an interface that combats threats of physical and emotional safety cultivates an environment where students feel secure and nurtured to focus on just being a kid.

If you want to learn more about the benefits and logistics of a student emergency platform, check out our emergency features.

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