Words By:
PikMyKid
School Safety Company
Posted On:
May 20, 2020

While COVID-19 has upended much of our lives, it has reinforced the value and importance of public schooling. Teachers and school staff across this country continue their heroic efforts to make distance learning work and support their students—with many parents working valiantly to support them as well. This experience has made clear that there is no substitute for a safe and welcoming neighborhood school. (Source: The American Federation of Teachers

PikMyKid is working hard to support the staff and schools prepare for the new normal with our expanded suite of products and features. And, we are honored to help you keep your students and staff safe.

The PikMyKid System is here to help with all areas of the school day:

1. COVID-19 Ready Platform

1.1. Track health check-ins

The CDC and other health organizations are recommending tracking the health of students as they arrive at school. (Source: CDC Considerations for Schools

The PikMyKid team updated our current software features to make this process as easy as possible. No matter how your school wants to handle this transition, we’re here to help.

Our check-in program can be used to track nurse visits, temperature checks, additional services for students at risk, morning health checks and more. Our reports can then be used to audit and track which students are reported sick and keep an eye out for trends. Staff at the drop off point can easily use the Morning check-in to quarantine the sick from the healthy students and alert the nurse if required.

1.2. Limit non-essential visitors

A non-essential visitor can be classified as anyone who doesn’t need to be inside school buildings on a regular basis. They can be parents, guardians, or other people who periodically come on campus for one reason or another. The challenge is that you don’t know if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or another viral illness recently. That’s why we’ve updated our features to help you manage these visits. 

You can easily manage early dismissals and even ask for parents to set it up ahead of time in their app. This way, your staff is aware of changes to the child’s schedule and they can be reunited with their parent or guardian with the least amount of classroom interruption.  

Once a parent has set up the date and time of their early dismissal, their PikMyKid app will be updated to allow for an early pickup announcement.

Once the parent announces, a member of the school staff will bring their child out to their vehicle and dismiss them. Your portal will track and create reports of all early dismissals this way while keeping visitors off-campus.

1.3. Enhance social distancing

The basis of social distancing is: Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, don’t gather in groups, stay out of crowded places, and avoid mass gatherings. These guidelines will become increasingly harder to follow once school is in session again. Drop off and dismissal are often a time of confusion and mass gatherings of students, staff, parents, and guardians. But that’s where PikMyKid comes in! 

Our program enables you to communicate with parents about social distancing guidelines for dropping off and picking up their children at school. It also enables them to announce when they arrive on campus, where they will wait in their cars until a staff member arrives to check their child’s health and then escort the children into the building. This is also used during pick up, where parents will wait in their vehicles until a staff member brings the child out to them. These procedures encourage social distancing & reduce chaos.

1.4. Alert health officials of trending problems

The most important part of any coordinated effort to prevent and manage a viral outbreak is communication with local, state, and national health officials. They need to be informing you and be informed by you about best practices for handling contagious diseases. 

COVID-19 alert

PikMyKid emergency alert enables seamless communication between you, health officials, and other necessary personnel. You can set it up to automatically alert your health officials at important points surrounding viral outbreaks.I.E. when there’s been a sudden rise in cases or symptoms on campus. 

2. Parent health questionnaire

One way to manage health checks is with a digital parent questionnaire. Our app provides this and it has the ability to be fully customized by your school or district. Most of the questions only need a yes or no answer. So, it only takes a matter of moments to be filled out by the appropriate guardian & ensure complete data collection by school staff.

Question Examples

  • Does your child have a temperature of 102 or higher?
  • Has your child been in contact with someone sick?
  • Has anyone in your household traveled in the last 2 weeks?

3. CDC compliant features

The CDC talks about assessing the risks that are imposed by a child in a school becoming infected with COVID-19 or another highly contagious virus. These problems can be solved by a short return to distance education while the school is sterilized. Meanwhile, the sick child(ren) are required to be quarantined until they are no longer contagious. The severity of their symptoms or diagnosis will determine whether or not they can continue distance learning during their quarantine.  

Other students and/or staff who had significant contact with the sick person also might need to be quarantined for a while to further minimize risk.  

The PikMyKid system can be of great use during a situation like this. Using our high engagement rate with parents, you can send out mass notifications to your entire school about sick children or staff. This will also make it easy to  notify parents about sudden closures, openings, and distance learning resources.

3.1. Multi-channel communication

Communication is the foundation of a truly integrated response to a viral outbreak or another emergency. The PikMyKid system has multi-level, thorough, multi-channel enabled communication services. You can have secure, confidential communication with school nurses about sick children and share that information with only relevant people. 

Parent messenger

You can also easily communicate with the exact parents or parent groups that you need to regarding emergencies. You can use custom filters to alert a specific family, certain grades, classes, age groups, or dismissal modes about the daily operations and COVID-19 checklists.

 

3.2.Staggered arrival and dismissal times

Use PikMyKid settings to easily adjust the staggered dismissal times by grade level group and limit cars on campus in the mornings & afternoons.

3.3 Monitor absenteeism closely

Parents can use their app to mark their students absent and all reasons can be captured/ customized by school staff. The absentee report will show the absentees due to sickness and schools can choose a course of action even before starting the session for the day.

3.4 Continuous surveillance to contain the COVID-19 spread

Surveillance and monitoring of viral outbreaks are important to limiting and controlling them. Part of that surveillance is the ability to report day-to-day changes in absenteeism and disease surveillance efforts to detect and respond to an outbreak quickly.

Using PikMyKid reports after morning health check-ins will help track health trends or an uptick in absences.

Our reporting software enables you to keep track of all children reported sick during any designated amount of time. It also makes it super easy to share this information with the proper health officials via spreadsheets.

4. CDC compliant dismissal procedures

As we mentioned, dismissal and drop off are the times of day when social distancing is the most complicated. Most schools have a variety of ways for children to get to school, including carlines, walkers, bus riders, and then there’s after school activities and care that some children attend. 

Facilitating a socially distant dismissal that manages all these things smoothly is a complicated endeavor. That’s why we’ve formatted our software to make the process as seamless as possible.  

social distancing through carline

Using our smartphone app, parents and guardians announce when they arrive on campus, alerting you when to send out each child. Your staff can then dismiss the students, alerting any additional  guardians about their child’s location. Thus minimizing the number of people that need to come in contact with each other and your staff.

 

4.1. Staggered dismissal times and locations

Staggering your dismissal times and having multiple dismissal locations enhances other social distancing procedures. The PikMyKid dismissal settings can be used to adjust the staggered dismissal times by grade level and prevent parents from “announcing” pick up for children at the incorrect time. This limits the cars on campus and ensures school rules are being followed.

4.2. Dealing with Parent walkup in an urban setting

Schools in cities typically don’t have the space to facilitate a typical car line. That’s why we’ve made sure our app has modules and settings to account for alternative pick up methods.

PikMyKid can help with this by working with the school to create ‘zones’ around the school where kids can be picked up from. That way, the pick up guardians and parents can be spread out around campus to encourage distancing. Staggering the pickup times at each zone can easily double the number of zones you have, further limiting the interactions in one area. 

PikMyKid is a very versatile platform and we’re always ready to work with you to solve any challenges you face.

4.3. Classroom dismissal preferred to avoid large groups

classroom based dismissals

Managing dismissal by classroom group may seem daunting, but we have been helping schools do this for years! Children can remain in their classroom and watch a display of the carline or their class roster if you prefer. Then, when they see their parents in the appropriate place in line or the correct status next to their name, they can gather their things and go to the pick up area. This system keeps kids from interacting in large groups and also simplifies the dismissal process.

In Conclusion

The 2020-2021 School year is going to have challenges and changes that no one could have seen coming, but we’ll get through this together! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help adjusting your current PikMyKid portal or if you want more information on how to sign up for your school.

We’ve created a PDF that contains all the information you need to manage school and mitigate virus spread according to CDC guidelines: Returning to School after a Pandemic

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

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PikMyKid  -  School Safety Company

PikMyKid is a school safety company that creates tools that empower teachers and parents to keep their kids safe during the school day. We have a mission to keep our K-12 kids safe and accounted for.