Students and school faculty are now more fearful that an on-campus emergency could happen at any moment. It places more responsibility on schools to protect students and staff in emergency situations. To prevent any danger or harm from occurring, communication is key across school sites. In fact, schools in every state have recently implemented school alert systems that notify staff members across a school campus of emergency situations and non-emergency situations. Schools are already including this safety net of communication with data showing 3 out of 4 schools adding an all-school communication notification system.
HEOA – Implementing New Procedures and Policies
Since the unfortunate shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, new procedures and policies have been implemented in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity ACT (HEOA). According to an article published in Campus Safety Magazine, these procedures and policies were adopted due to Virginia Tech University in 2007 not “complying with “timely warning issuance and policy provisions.” As an attempt to avoid mass shootings from happening at a school in the future, HEOA has Virginia Tech University and other universities included in their annual reports a copy of their emergency response policies.
HEOA’s updated procedures and policies are essentially designed to prevent another mass shooting at a university, regardless of if everyone agrees with these new regulations. Although some people may disagree with the updated rules, these procedures may save lives in the event of an emergency. If these procedures and policies were updated earlier, it may have prevented a mass shooting altogether at Virginia Tech University.
In order for schools to remain in compliance with HEOA requirements, it is important for them to have a school mass communication notification procedure as well as review and revise emergency procedures annually.
Effective Communication for Students and School Faculty
A school alert system may not stop an on-school shooter, but it can alert and notify faculty and students ahead of time with an alert notification system. A school-wide communication system is also not just for on-school shooters, it can be applied to weather emergencies – tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. A School alert systems can also alert student and faculty of a bomb threat, a chemical danger, or other potential dangers.
Alerting students and staff of an emergency through a school mass communication lowers the risk of them coming into harm. Fortunately, there is more than one way to reach students and faculty in the event of an emergency. Methods of communication may include:
Inside and outside loud-speaker communication.
Visual communication – message board, strobes, and digital signage
Alerting Faculty and Students of Emergency and Non-Emergency Situations
Besides communicating emergencies, a school alert system across a school campus can also provide helpful, non-emergency information. For example, school-related announcements are another effective method that allows schools to communicate information to students, teachers, and other staff throughout the campus.
Finding the Most Effective School Mass Communication System.
Some schools communicate differently than other schools, it depends on the school staff. That is why it is important to implement the most effective communication system for your school, and it may require having a communication system that has a range of mass communication options.
Some of the most effective school mass communication features include:
A multi-option system that has audio, email, text, and visual.
Knowing the capabilities of system monitoring and reporting.
System redundancies and fail-safe security as a backup option.
Considering the level of concern there is at some schools, it is important to hire the most effective provider that understands the needs of the school. A school choosing iFollow School Alerts is ensured of protection through their effective communication system; iFollow School Alert Systems understands how important it is to communicate a clear message with accuracy and distance in order to protect students and faculty.