Case Study - Latin School of Chicago



We're a private K-12 school in the heart of Chicago with about 1,100 students. We've been around since 1888, and looking to celebrate our 125th year this year.

We primarily use InformaCast for emergency notification, triggering lockdowns and severe weather alerts.

Here at the school, we have a lot of different technology systems, and one of our challenges is tying them together, and InformaCast is really the glue for our notification. It can pull in email, our phone system, our speaker system, our physical security system with locks, and make it all work together.

These days, emergency communications are vital for schools such as ours.

Our old system was analog. You walked up to it. There was a microphone. You pressed down the button, and you said, you know, the building's in lock down, maybe played an emergency alert.

One of the nice features of InformaCast is the ability to pre-record these messages. So when you're not in a crisis situation, you can think of exactly what you want to say, and pre-record it in a calm voice, giving the correct instructions. And that message is just ready to go.

When we look to upgrading it, we consider just adding more speakers all over the place. But then we realized we had phones on everyone's desk, and we could use those to supplement our existing speaker system.

So we were able to upgrade our speaker system to tie into the phone system, and have InformaCast send a broadcast between our old analog system and all of our phones.

We've configured our phones that you just go to the services menu and hit a button. And that can trigger a lockdown in our building. With our buildings having electronic locks, having the doors actually lock is a little trickier than just turning a lever.

So we were able to integrate InformaCast to automatically lock all of our electronic doors and disable them. So even if you do have a badge, you're not going to be able to get in the room once it's been secured.

We're really excited about being able to tie in our fire alarm system so that we're notified when it goes off, and there's no delay in hearing about that.

When we have an emergency message go out, we've configured it to send out an email to a group of select administrators with a recording of the message.

So as soon as an alert is triggered in one of my buildings, I get an email message with a wav file attached of what the alert was. So on my phone, I just know immediately what happened and that an alert was triggered.

It's really sped up our ability to respond. On the one hand, it can be very simple. And on the other hand, we can have as much complexity as we need to develop a really powerful solution.