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Safe Schools Week – 4 Ways Schools are Using Technology to Improve Safety

In honor of the National School Safety Center’s Safe Schools Week, we want to take a moment to thank all of you for your tireless efforts to keep our students safe. 

Safe Schools Week is both a celebration of the excellent work that’s been done and an opportunity to bring awareness to how school safety approaches need to evolve to keep pace with modern challenges.

In this article, we’ll cover four ways schools are using technology to improve student safety.

Health and wellness screening

2020 has given a new meaning to school safety. We now not only have to protect our students from physical threats, but an invisible danger: COVID-19. 

Many schools who have reopened safely have relied upon Wellness Checks. Wellness checks are a self-reporting online method where each staff member and student—or parent for younger students—must complete a wellness survey before arriving on campus.

In fact, SchoolPass Wellness Checks prevented over 17,000 students and staff who did not comply with the CDC guidelines from coming onto campus within the first few weeks of school reopening. You can learn more about wellness screening best practices here

Dismissal management

For many schools, dismissal is the riskiest time of day and requires staff to direct students in a multitude of directions. Dismissal has become even more challenging in the COVID-19 era. For example, when a child is picked up early, many schools are sending a staff member outside to verify the pickup manually. 

With school dismissal software, pickup verification can be completed automatically based on license plates, RFID tags, GPS, or with a fast check in from a parent app. Staff uses this information to dismiss students when their authorized ride arrives, improving safety and saving time.

Visitor management

Screening and tracking visitors effectively has always been important. But, in recent years, it’s become even more essential. Why?

  1. According to the FBI, the number of non-custodial parent abductions increased by 5x from 2010 to 2012 alone
  2. In the United States, there are now over 859,000 Registered Sex Offenders
  3. Visitors must also be screened for COVID-19 risk factors

A modern visitor management system can conduct automatic Registered Sex Offender checks, identify potential custody violations, and require visitors to take a COVID-19 wellness assessment before visitors arrive on your campus.

Emergency management

In an emergency, every second matters. Technology now allows schools to not only respond to known emergencies faster, but identify them proactively.

Here’s how many of our customers are building fast, effective emergency responses:

  1. Modern security cameras built for K-12 schools can alert staff in real-time if a known bad actor or potential custody violator comes onto campus. This allows your security staff to intervene or call for help immediately.
  2. When an emergency is identified, the next step is communication. A school emergency management and notification system includes pre-built emergency notifications and customizable distribution lists. When an emergency occurs, staff can easily send an alert via email and text to other staff, teachers, parents, and even local police in a matter of seconds. This communication should be able to be triggered from a dashboard or panic button on a phone. 
  3. Once an emergency alert has been sent, the focus should be on campus visibility and accounting for everyone on your campus – not just students. A modern emergency management solution can provide a live view into who is on your campus, and where. Teachers and staff need real-time attendance rosters with a fast way to take emergency attendance. 

It’s time to get proactive about school safety

The world has changed and presented evolving school safety challenges. The good news is that you don’t have to tackle these challenges alone. Hundreds of schools across the country have adopted the SchoolPass platform to not only improve safety but streamline operations. But, don’t take our word for it – listen to what one of our customers has to say about SchoolPass

If you’re interested in seeing what St. Elizabeth loves about SchoolPass for yourself, request a personalized demo today.