St. Charles Parish Public Schools has taken another step toward protecting its faculty and students, this time using a boost from technology to do so.
The school system recently began incorporating the mobile device app CrisisManager into its safety procedures, with over 10,000 students and 1,700 school employees gaining immediate access to safety plans via that program.
The app was created by SchoolDude, a provider of operations management solutions. It details instructions for emergency response scenarios including school closures and evacuations, inclement weather, active shooter, bomb threat, student injury and other crisis situations.
Parents will have full access to the St. Charles Parish Public Schools’ parent/guardian emergency guide, developed to address multiple crisis situations and responses, on CrisisManager.
“As a school district known for its cutting-edge approach to technology, it was critical for us to get important safety information into our parents’ hands on their mobile devices,” St. Charles Parish Public Schools Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker said. “We will continue to enhance our safety plans and their accessibility to ensure a safe, positive school experience.”
The customized CrisisManager app offers one-tap emergency calling and the most up-to-date building maps, emergency exits and lockdown locations. Emergency plans, available with or without a Wi-Fi connection, are password-protected.
“Our approach to preparing for emergencies is multi-layered, including paper-based guides, flip books and now mobile-based response plans,” said Kade Rogers, St. Charles Public Schools Coordinator of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness. “With CrisisManager, we are able to make actionable safety plans quickly accessible via smartphones to all administrators, faculty, staff and parents.”
Rogers said that seamless accessibility is the greatest benefit the app provides. Everyone now has the capacity to immediately access emergency plans right at their fingertips.
“Every second counts,” Rogers said. “Sometimes, when you’re seconds away, the police could be minutes away. It’s nobody’s fault. But we have to react immediately. We have to be able to make sure we take care of our biggest priority, and that’s protecting our kids.”
He said the application virtually cuts out the middle man of preparation in terms of how things were done before, where groups were to rely on team leaders who had access and knowledge of safety procedure.
“Now, if, God forbid, we had a lockdown situation, you go to the application and you’ve got emergency numbers and e-mails hyperlinked, maps, GPS technology to get you to the right location. We want to have every tool at our disposal to ensure everyone’s protection.”