School Bell System

Schedule pre-recorded notifications, such as school bells, shift changes, break reminders or safety alerts from a single interface and leverage existing analog overhead systems.

 

Benefits

  • Cost savings and improved flexibility
  • Send bell tones to existing analog overhead systems
  • Schedule other pre-recorded messages like shift changes, break reminders or safety alerts
 

 

Topics

Modernizing Your School Bell System

School bell systems have come a long way from the days of manual triggers and individual adjustments. These older systems offered limited flexibility, were costly to repair and had limited capabilities beyond playing a single tone.

Today, advanced school bell systems offer the ability to schedule bells, and function as a mass communication tool. InformaCast can be used as a school bell system and an efficient solution for communicating to a school or district’s entire population.

In addition to its bell scheduling functions, InformaCast has emergency notification capabilities to notify the students, teachers and even parents with email, SMS text or phone messages. It also helps school administrators coordinate the responses to emergency situations by gathering personnel on conference calls and providing safety instructions.

See Save Time and Money: Modernizing Your School Bell System blog post for more.

 


Setting Up Your School Bell System

Properly-functioning school bells are crucial to the flow and productivity of a school or district, and configuring them right the first time will help avoid headaches down the road. Here are a few things to consider when setting up a bell schedule:

  1. Think about who will hear bell tones. Soft or familiar bell tones may help younger students get acquainted with school bells, while large, busy schools may need louder tones to be heard over the noise.
  2. Decide what the bell tones will communicate. Different events may require different tones, like choosing one tone for the start of the school day and another to signal an incoming announcement.
  3. Consider what areas bell tones should reach. Different floors may need different bells, depending on the class type or if multiple schools reside in the same building.
  4. Schedule when bells will sound. Once the first three items are answered, it’s time to start scheduling bells. When bells sound depends on the individual needs of schools and districts. Some may want bells to announce the beginning and end of each class period, while others may also want to include a bell that signals a five-minute warning. Think about what type of schedule would work best for staff and students.  
  5. Plan for unexpected changes. Once bells are scheduled for the year, plan for events that may impact the schedule. Early release, inclement weather, teacher in-service and other situations may all necessitate a special schedule.

See Beat the Rush: Tips for Setting Your School Bell Schedule in Advance blog post for more.

 


Using WAV Files

When the bell schedule is set, schools and districts have the ability to further customize the tones they want to broadcast. InformaCast uses WAV files for custom bell tones and offers sample audio files for download. These tones are already μLaw: 8,000 Hz, 8-bit, mono WAV files for use with InformaCast.

School or districts looking for more options can also utilize the websites listed below to create WAV files that work best in their buildings.

Administrators only need to log into the InformaCast web interface and click to apply changes, which will then be implemented immediately.

See School Bell Systems - 5 Resources for School Bell Wav Files blog post for more.

 


Adjusting IP Speaker Volume

In many schools and districts, scheduled bells will play over IP speakers. School hallways and classrooms can be noisy, so being able to adjust the IP speaker volume is a necessity if school leaders want bells to be heard. The InformaCast web interface gives users the ability to control individual IP speaker volume. In the past, when schools used analog systems, someone had to go into the classroom and adjust individual speaker levels.

InformaCast also has the ability to override some of the play volume settings. Different messages and bells could have a higher volume setting. For example, the school bells to start and end the day may be louder than the ones that signal its time for a class change. InformaCast offers schools and districts plenty of flexibility when it comes to speaker volume control to customize as needed.

See Ip Speakers: How to Set the Volume blog post for more.

 


User Example - Necedah Area School District

Necedah Area School District in Wisconsin was facing challenges reaching everyone with announcements from its outdated overhead paging system. The district houses its elementary, middle and high schools in the same building, and needed a solution that could designate messages and bells for those schools.

Using Advanced Network Devices, Kris Saylor, director of technology, installed IP speakers throughout the building to provide clear audio and scrolling announcements. With the help of InformaCast, he and his team have been able to drastically improve how they schedule bells, configure zones and send messages.

 

 

Currently, the district has zones set up to reach everyone in the building: a zone each for the elementary, middle, and high school, one combined middle and high school zone, one zone for outside speakers and one zone specifically for the gymnasium.

“What I like most is the usability of InformaCast,” explained Saylor. “It has a simple user interface and works without complications. And the potential to expand its use for other situations is very appealing.”

See K-12 District Improves Reach of Critical Messages With InformaCast blog post for more.

 


Shift Changes and More

While the bell scheduler helps manage school bells, it can also be used at organizations other than K-12 schools to assist with routine announcements. Here are some examples of how organizations in other industries are using the InformaCast bell scheduler.

Shift Changes:
Manufacturing facilities use InformaCast to facilitate smooth shift changes. Since shift changes are routine events, being able to set this as a regular function means officials can spend more time on other safety initiatives. Tone and volume can all be customized through the bell scheduler to ensure the shift change alert is heard even in noisy environments.

Reminders:
Like shift changes and school bells, organizations may have other regular tasks that occur on a less frequent basis. Simple reminders like paying invoices, cleaning out the break room fridge, and scheduling a meeting, can all be configured using the bell scheduler.

See Using the InformaCast Bell Scheduler for More Than Just School Bells blog post for more.

 


Islamic Prayer Times

As a way of further expanding the number of people reached with InformaCast broadcasts, the Islamic Prayer Times plugin allows you to calculate Islamic prayer times for locations around the world and create InformaCast scheduled broadcasts corresponding to those times.

See Islamic Prayer Times demo