School Pairs Digital Signage Platform With Emergency Alerts App To Speed Lockdowns When There’s Risk Of Active Shooter On Campus

May 6, 2024 by Dave Haynes

It’s unfortunate that speed is a mission-critical need, but that is indeed the case with schools in the United States these days because of too-frequent incidents of active shooters on the campuses of K-12 schools and colleges. There is a critical 30-second window from identifying an active shooter on the grounds to when the incident escalates, so alerts have to be super-fast to enable classrooms and other areas to get locked down.

The schools-focused CMS software solution Rise Vision has a case study out about Necedah Schools in Wisconsin, and how the platform works in concert with a third-party emergency alerts platform called Informacast to reduce lockdown times and hopefully better protect the kids. Necedah Area School District is a rural district located in central Wisconsin. It houses its elementary, middle, and high school in one building. It has 700 students and 130 staff and faculty.

The school had been relying on traditional Public Address systems for emergency communications, which required someone to manually activate the PA, wait for a tone, and then make a verbal announcement. That  process could take 60 seconds, more than doubling the critical time window.

Necedah Schools now use displays around the facility, focusing on key areas like hallways by restrooms and natural congregation points, and notifications go out in about 20 seconds.

“Over 95% of the time our presentations control the screens, but in the event of an emergency notification we have InformaCast ready to take over the screen to provide relevant safety information. This functionality allows us to quickly lock down zones of our building or communicate things such as inclement weather with just a touch of a button on the InformaCast app,” says Kris Saylor, Director of Technology at Necedah Schools.

Visual alerts can be triggered with just a couple of clicks, and instantly displayed across the school’s network of screens. One action disseminates an alert across school screens, loudspeakers, the displays, and through the classrooms on digital clocks. The solution also allows the school admin team to just hit a button and the system says all clear.

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