School districts are faced with increasing pressures to secure their campuses. Parents and communities are requiring schools to quickly alert faculty, staff and students about emergencies and incidents that require lock down or evacuation. But building a safe campus environment means implementing more than just notification procedures.
The 1-2-3 Safe Campus approach
Schools can leverage existing infrastructure investments for voice and data while adding video and mobility components for a comprehensive, three-step approach to campus safety.
2. Response coordination
3. Campus notification
In an emergency, campus safety is about chaos management and speeding the flow of information to decision makers so they can respond quickly and appropriately and disseminate timely, accurate information.
Before you can notify your campus community, you must become aware of the event, gather information and coordinate the response between school or campus security, the administration, and, if needed, local police or other fi rst responders. Communications can be your greatest tool for efficient information delivery in a crisis.
Alcatel-Lucent has worked with many schools to implement unified communications systems that support lockdown procedures, provide emergency notifi cation, and integrate with building control systems to support surveillance, deliver alarms and alerts, and enhance the awareness and responsiveness of campus security personnel and administrators.
Ridley School District — Improving Communications, Safety and Security
Ridley School District serves nearly 6,000 students in Ridley Township and the boroughs of Ridley Park and Eddystone in southeastern Pennsylvania. Don Otto, director of computer and network services for the Ridley School District, has been aggressive in his use of technology to improve communications, security and safety.
Ridley High School installed infrared flame detectors to combat student smoking. Using the alarm notifi cation features of Alcatel-Lucent’s Safe Campus solution, messages from the wireless smoke detectors are delivered using the OmniPCX, an IP PBX platform that provides an evolution path from traditional voice to IP telephony. Mobile staff members are immediately alerted via wireless handsets anytime a student flicks a lighter or strikes a match.
In deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniPCX and 150 IP phones throughout the district, Ridley centralized and consolidated its infrastructure with IP telephony over a gigabit Ethernet backbone. This implementation eliminated costly monthly expenses for T-1 lines to join PBXs in each school.
With phones deployed cost effectively in all classrooms and common areas, such as cafeterias, libraries and gymnasiums, the district improved safety in a basic way by providing a means to dial 911 immediately from every room. Taking safety a step further, advanced IP phones allows the district to distribute alerts to each classroom during an emergency. Ridley School District integrated its e-mail servers with voicemail to provide a unifi ed messaging system, enhancing its crisis communication.
With Alcatel-Lucent, Ridley found a technology partner to boost campus safety, leveraging the technology of a global leader in converged communications and unifi ed communications to get a comprehensive set of tools to secure the learning environment.