3 min read

Voice of the Customer: Mass Notifications in K-12 Schools

Mass notification systems are essential for every K-12 school. There is an increasing demand for communication solutions to ensure the safety of faculty and students. Overhead paging, bell scheduling, access control, and two-way intercoms are examples of communication systems that schools like the McMinnville School District rely on daily. When an emergency takes place, these systems can also be used to help mitigate situations like natural disasters, active shooters, fires, and more. 

To keep schools safe, district leaders need to have a quick and reliable form of communication that is used to reach the right people. Intrado’s Revolution notification software integrates with existing on-premises communication systems to deliver the safety solutions that schools depend on.

Voice of the Customer: McMinnville School District

According to David Bousquet, Technology and Information Services Director for the McMinnville School District in Yamhill County, Oregon, the district had multiple communication and safety systems that operated independently across 16 buildings (e.g., access control, phone systems, and intercoms). When the schools needed to communicate information to their combined 7,500 students and faculty members, they relied on office personnel in each building to determine which system to use and in which order. This made it challenging to deliver district-wide communication in a timely manner and created inefficiencies for emergency and non-emergency events. 

McMinnville School District had a goal to provide a single-step process to initiate communication for the person(s) addressing the emergency. By streamlining their communication processes, it frees up staff responsibilities; giving them more time to get to safety and focus on the situation at hand and less time spent managing disparate communication systems across their district buildings. 

“The most valuable feature of Revolution is the flexibility. You are able to make any kind of notification you want like tones, bells, record your own messages, and text to speech. All of those features you are looking for in a modern notification system are all there,” said David Bousquet. 

Revolution delivered the solution McMinnville needed to serve as the glue between all of their safety systems and enhancing school security. 

Hear the rest of McMinnville’s story by watching this short video:

Mass Notification for Schools

Revolution offers flexible activation options and plug-and-play integrations with IP and analog technology. Revolution gives schools the ability to simultaneously deliver attention-grabbing audio/visual alerts to disparate systems. Here are some ways Revolution can be used in Education: 

  • Bell Scheduling – Revolution’s Scheduler tool offers a user-friendly UI to help K-12 districts like McMinnville manage their school bells and automated alerts (e.g., routine fire and lockdown drills). Consolidating your bells, clocks and PA systems with Revolution helps cut down costs, saves time, and maximizes the use of your existing communication equipment.
  • Door Access Control – Staff members in K-12 schools have the ability to control building access through Revolution. Revolution can integrate with access control systems (e.g., automatic doors and windows) via contact closures using the Paging Relay or Barionet 400 devices. Doors can be scheduled to lock and unlock at specific times of the day to keep their buildings secure. Revolution can also be configured to lock/unlock doors manually with the push of a button. This is especially helpful during a lockdown or active shooter situation because it eliminates the need for a person to physically shut each door within the building.
  • Dial Monitoring for Calls to 911 – Notify a person or department when someone dials a specific number (e.g., 911) from a phone on your network. Dial Monitoring can help education customers using MLTS systems stay in compliance with Kari’s Law. This helps first responders know which classroom or office the call was placed from and allows you to dispatch an internal staff member to respond to the situation before first responders arrive to the scene.
  • IP Phones & Desktop Alerts – Notifications can be communicated to school faculty located on-premises by sending alerts directly to their IP phones or desktop computers. These pop-up alerts can include text, images, and audio to warn staff of an emergency situation. You can also send notifications to IP speakers, strobes, and other physical devices within your school building.
  • Mobile Alerts – It is important to arm faculty with a notification tool that allows authorized users to report incidents and receive notifications wherever they may be located. Revolution Mobile is an app that brings the power of Revolution emergency alert and mass notification software directly to mobile devices (Android & iOS) as well as Google Chromebooks. In addition, this app provides a geofence feature that allows users to send alerts to mobile recipients located inside or outside of your geofence. This is helpful because it allows senders to simultaneously share one message with mobile recipients located on school grounds (e.g., “Seek Shelter”) and a different message to users located off-premises (e.g., “Avoid Area”).

Revolution is a part of the Intrado Safety Suite, a comprehensive solution for end-to-end incident management that helps schools across the US and abroad keep their faculty and students safe and informed. Whether incidents occur on campus or beyond school grounds, Safety Suite helps keep staff and students safe while providing critical information to first responders. To learn about Revolution or Safety Suite for K12, contact us at https://www.intrado.com/revolution-for-schools.

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