Customer Viewpoint: School District Showcases Enhanced Student Safety


Transforming Communication and Response

Mass notification is a growing need in K-12 school districts. Active shooters, severe weather, and other emergencies threaten the safety of students and staff. Districts need a quick way to communicate critical information to the right people to facilitate a response. That’s why K-12 schools across the country are turning to InformaCast to fulfill their safety needs.

One of these customers is Rick Robinson, director of technology and safety coordinator for Walton Central School District in Walton, NY. When the district needed to replace its PBX phone system, it chose a Cisco VOIP platform because its InformaCast integration would allow them to communicate with its roughly 1,200 students and 250 staff across three locations. To demonstrate just how much InformaCast has changed the way the district can communicate and respond to emergency situations, Robinson put together a seven-minute video detailing the district’s InformaCast use cases.

You can watch Robinson’s full video and read more about how Walton Central is using InformaCast for school safety in this blog post.

Use Cases for Student Safety

The district integrates InformaCast with a wide range of devices and systems to transform the way it keeps students and staff safe. Uses cases for InformaCast at Walton Central School District include:

  • 911 Alerting: When 911 is dialed from within any of the district buildings, it triggers an InformaCast notification. All members of that building’s first response team receive the alert via email, text message, Cisco phone display and computer desktop popup. The message will include the name of the person who placed the 911 call, a description of the device, as well as the time and date.
  • Fire Alarm: The district integrates InformaCast with its fire alarms to send alerts when an alarm is triggered. Email and text notifications are sent to members of the emergency notification squad with the date, time and description of the emergency. Separate, distinct messages are sent to every Cisco phone, computer desktop, classroom smart board, digital signage and IP speaker.
  • Lockdown: Any member of the district staff with the proper shortcut on their phone or dialing code for that emergency can trigger a lockdown. This sends a lockdown message to all Cisco phones, digital signage, smart boards, computer desktops, and IP speakers. Members of the emergency notification group receive a text message with detailed information about who triggered the lockdown, including a description of the device, the owner of the device, the extension, as well as the time and date.
  • Door Access Control: With InformaCast’s M2M feature, the district has integrated with door access control systems. Using a custom phone app, select team members can trigger lockdowns from their phones. When that lockdown is triggered, it disables card access into buildings, except for members of the emergency response team, or people that possess an emergency access card.

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With help from InformaCast, state troopers, the sheriff’s office, Walton police, and fire departments, along with the district safety committee and first responders, Walton Central School District is delivering high-quality education in a safer environment.

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