Markets Served - K-12 Education

Today, school safety and security has never been more important. Learn how our situational awareness solutions can protect your students, teachers and staff.

The FBI reports that active shooter incidents are increasing in frequency and lethality across the country, with many of these tragedies occurring at educational institutions. One of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history occurred in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, resulting in the loss of 26 students, teachers and staff. Helping protect children is one of the reasons Status Solutions was founded in 2001, post Columbine (and 9-11). Our first job was equipping teachers of The Tomorrow Center with mobile duress buttons. The school serves students in grades 3-12 with severe emotional disabilities, so their behavior can be unpredictable, prompting the need to quickly transmit alerts to the main office and emergency personnel. We continue to work with K-12 schools in providing situational awareness to protect not only life safety but also property and instructional time. Incidents can be extreme, like a shooting, but mundane situations, such as an overflowing toilet, a student smoking in the restroom of a false fire alarm, also have negative impacts. Does your school have the right tools for incident detection, alerting and response?

Situational awareness and response management

Situational awareness is key to improving life safety and security at K-12 schools. Principals, teachers and other onsite personnel must receive real-time information about a possible threat, so they can initiate the appropriate response plan. With today's smarter networks and devices, plus SARA to tie all of them together, it's easier and more cost-effective than ever to create a safety and security bubble over a single campus or an entire district. SARA, an automated alerting engine, integrates life safety, security and environmental controls, turning alarms from these stand-alone systems into detailed alerts for delivery to communication end points. Such unification greatly enhances risk management, ensuring the right information reaches the right people via the right devices so an unfolding situation can be addressed the right way. Both situational awareness and response management are integrated and automated to operationalize emergency plans. So arm your staff with knowledge - detailed information about what's happening, where it's happening, and what to do about it - or how to avoid it.

Advanced situational awareness

Smartphones become even smarter when backed by SARA and its universal alerting application with preprogrammed mobile dashboards, enabling any stakeholder on any device on any network to respond to unfolding situations more quickly, initiate alerts and associated response plans more effectively, and escalate/notify others as necessary - all from one user interface. The SARA universal alerting app also powers wide-area mobile duress for summoning immediate help. While some companies and start-ups provide duress products, they are one-dimensional whereas mobile duress is just one application of the SARA enterprise solution. Live video from integrated security cameras also can be pushed to smartphones and desktops. By giving SARA "eyes" through a capability called video paging, responders can see an event as it's unfolding to better inform response and resources. Prerecorded videos, maps/floor plans and photos also can be included in video pages.

Mass notification campaigns and services

Alerts should be delivered in real time to multiple groups via multiple channels. This sort of event-triggered mass notification provides redundancy, which is critical to life safety. In addition to sharing critical information with staff and students on site, SARA also can be used to communicate with parents. If there's a weather emergency, school districts and/or individual schools can let parents know about closings and bus delays. If there's an evacuation, parents can be notified of pick-up times and locations. Mass notification also can be campaign-triggered, meaning tailored to a specific group. For example, SARA can be used to send out homework assignments plus activity and event reminders, including schedule changes. SARA's modes and actions are situation agnostic, so the solution can be used to drive awareness transactions about any situation deemed important to a school. And because the telephone is still an effective means of communicating information to large numbers of constituents, SARA provides mass-dialing capabilities to landlines and mobile phones.

Situational awareness applications for K-12 schools

Examples of how SARA can be used in K-12 schools include:

  • Emergency pull stations in cafeterias and on playgrounds
  • Fixed duress in front office and classrooms
  • Mobile duress buttons for teachers, administrators and at-risk students or those with special needs (e.g., targets of bullying, those with injuries or chronic medical conditions like allergies)
  • Glass-break detectors
  • Audio sensors (e.g., gunshots)
  • Door/window contact alarms and integration with access control/intrusion and motion detection
  • Integration with indoor and outdoor security cameras
  • Fire panel integration
  • Cigarette busters and water bugs in restrooms
  • Temperature sensors in server rooms and cafeteria food stores
  • Sensors on boilers, power generators and HVAC systems
  • Smoke/gas detection in science labs
  • Motion detectors at eyewash stations in science labs
  • Inclement weather warnings
  • Evacuation notices
  • Lockdown notifications
  • Delays, schedule changes and other operational announcements
  • General announcements and reminders

Status Solutions has been awarded a GSA Schedule 84.