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The safety and security of schools has always been a priority, but due to events in recent years the need for additional attention to security resources has increased significantly. Fortunately, advancements in technology have paved the way for innovative solutions that can enhance school safety.

Technology offers a wide array of tools that empower educational institutions to prevent, detect and respond effectively to potential threats. By integrating technology solutions into your school’s safety framework, you can proactively address potential risks, mitigate challenges and create a secure learning environment that fosters growth and peace of mind.

Teacher in the classroom with students on their computers

Types of Technology for Safety and Security

There is not simply one solution that can solve all security and safety needs of our schools, but there are a number of tactics that can be utilized, which all together can provide the most effective solution. Below are solutions that should be considered for creating a safe and secure school environment.

Real-Time Campus Monitoring and Alerts

Implementing advanced surveillance systems with real-time monitoring capabilities allows you to keep a vigilant eye on your campus. From intelligent cameras that detect suspicious activities to access control systems that track entry and exit points, you gain immediate visibility and the ability to respond swiftly in critical situations. Additionally, automated alerts can notify security personnel and administrators of potential threats, enabling prompt action and ensuring a safer environment.

Emergency Response Tools

Technology equips schools with reliable and efficient means of communication and information during emergencies. Multi-channel communication systems, including mass notification apps, enable rapid dissemination of critical information to staff, parents and emergency personnel, if needed. This ensures that everyone is promptly informed and updated, in real-time, allowing for timely response and coordination during challenging situations. 

Digital notification systems via mobile apps allow school staff to send instant alerts via text messages, emails or automated phone calls to all staff informing them about the situation and providing necessary instructions. The same can be done to parents, ensuring everyone is informed as to what is occurring during emergency situations. Additionally, digital panic buttons can allow them to quickly report emergencies and request assistance from first responders if applicable. This seamless communication strengthens emergency response efforts, minimizing risks and potential harm. Emergency drills are also performed via the mobile apps, ensuring all staff and students are prepared on how to react in the event of an actual emergency and can help identify where areas of confusion may lie.

A digital emergency reunification system not only allows the communication as mentioned above, but houses the information needed so that physical emergency binders do not need to be relied upon. Emergency information can be easily updated, including emergency contacts and pictures for enhanced safety. If an instance requires reunification, parents can be quickly informed of where and when to pick up their kid. Reunification drills can be practiced as well.

Digital Hall Pass

Utilizing a digital hall pass rather than a traditional paper hall pass provides better visibility into when the students leave the classroom, where they are and when they arrive at their destination. Digital hall passes are linked to a database that records the time, location and reason for a student’s departure from the classroom. This timestamp allows administrators to quickly identify and investigate any problematic behavior that may be occurring, and it can also account for every student during emergency situations. A digital hall pass can provide better assurance that kids are safely accounted for throughout the school day.

Teacher speaking to student in school hallway

Dismissal Management Software

Many might not consider school dismissal as a ‘safety issue’ but the chaos that occurs at the end of a school day can bring about safety concerns. Using a platform that allows students to be notified when they are ready to be picked up, either by car or bus, keeps them safe in the classroom until ready to leave campus. It also keeps the staff safer as less dismissal managers are needed outside. A dismissal platform allows parents to announce when they have arrived on campus, verifying they are the responsible person for picking up the student, and the student is dismissed to leave. This process ensures the student is safely dismissed to the correct person.

Digital Safety and Cybersecurity Measures

As technology becomes more integrated into education, digital safety and cybersecurity are critical aspects of school safety. Schools should employ robust firewalls, antivirus software and content filtering systems to protect against cyber threats and ensure a safe online environment for students. Educating students about digital citizenship, responsible internet usage and online safety practices is equally essential in the digital age.

Threat Detection Systems

Advanced threat detection systems leverage technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to identify potential threats in real-time. These systems can monitor digital communication channels, including emails and social media, for signs of violence, bullying, and more. By analyzing patterns and detecting alarming keywords or phrases, such systems can alert school authorities to intervene and address the issue promptly.

Anonymous Reporting Systems

To encourage students to report suspicious activities or potential threats, schools can implement anonymous reporting systems. These systems can be accessed through online platforms or dedicated hotlines, allowing students to report concerns without fear of reprisal. By providing a safe and confidential channel, technology empowers students to take an active role in maintaining a secure school environment.

Collaborative Partnerships

Embracing technology for school safety is not a solitary journey. By partnering with experienced technology providers, such as Pikmykid, you gain access to expertise, ongoing support, and innovative solutions tailored to your specific needs. Collaborative partnerships foster a long-term commitment to your school’s safety and security goals, ensuring continuous improvement and readiness.

School Community Involvement

One important addition to note, we have established how important technology is and can be in improving the security and safety of our schools, but it is only as good as its use. This means, it will not be useful unless there is buy-in and involvement from the entire school community; teachers, staff, administration and parents. The PEOPLE of a school community help keep their school safe. Establishing effective processes and procedures followed by the entire school community, ensuring everyone is on the same page and aware of what and how the technology is being used, this is what will ultimately make the technology effective and successful in keeping everyone safe. A culture that actively embraces all the operational processes required and effectively employs the available tools to provide a safe and secure school environment is the single most important element for school security improvement.

Continuous Change

In today’s rapidly evolving world, technology presents powerful tools to enhance school safety and security. As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities for enhancing school safety are endless, empowering schools to embrace a safer future. By embracing and investing in these advancements, schools create secure environments that prioritize the safety and well-being of students, staff, and visitors. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between the utilization of technology and preserving privacy rights to ensure that these systems are implemented responsibly and ethically. Ultimately, by harnessing the potential of technology, we can take significant strides towards fostering secure learning environments for the next generation.

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