New York School District Enhances Student Safety with InformaCast®

Walton School District in New York Showcases Enhanced Student Safety
Schools & DistrictsCase Studies

Walton Central School District in Walton, NY serves 1,200 students and 250 staff across three locations.

The Challenge:

The district needed to replace PBX phone system and identify opportunities where they could communicate more effectively to their entire populations across multiple buildings.

The Solution:

The district selected a Cisco VoIP platform and implemented InformaCast to help with 911 alerting, fire alarms, lockdowns, and door access control.

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 school districts across the country are turning to InformaCast to fulfill their safety needs.

One of these districts is Walton Central School District in Walton, NY. When Rick Robinson, director of technology and safety coordinator for the district needed to replace its PBX phone system, his team 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. The implementation fundamentally changed the way the district was able to communicate and respond to emergency situations.

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 the district has integrated 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.

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.

Visit our Schools & Districts page for more information about how InformaCast can help enhance safety and communication on your campus.