Last school year, a High School was faced with a situation that every educator and police officer hopes to avoid.
Because of gang related activity in the area, a student was bringing a knife to school with malicious intent.
Thankfully the school resource officer received a tip from another student before the perpetrator arrived. He instantly sent a lockout alert through DIR-S.
Within seconds of sending out the alert, all teachers had their rooms locked, and the SRO was able to leave the school and find the student bringing the knife and take care of the matter before he even arrived at the school.
The district office was notified and kept up to date throughout the entire incident because when an alert goes off at a school, it also shows up on the computers and devices of the district officials so that they can easily communicate and monitor the status of the incident.
After the incident had been resolved, all of the communications and records from the incident were retained within DIR-S. This facilitated in the post-incident reports that the SRO and school and district officials are required to do. It also proved very valuable for the school to review to be able to see what they did, and identify ways to improve in the future to make their emergency response even more timely and effective.
In another school, in a different incident, there was a city-wide power outage. This caused all of the lights and computers and other communication systems to go down in the schools located in this city. Thankfully, the teachers had DIR-S on their mobile phones, and it continued running without missing a beat on their cellular data.
School and district officials were able to communicate with all of their faculty throughout the entire time that the city power was down all using DIR-S.
This allowed them to keep everything organized and ensure that all students and faculty were safe and secure while they waited for the outage to be fixed.
While these two stories showed different schools in very different situations, they were both able to use DIR-S to maintain active communications through the duration of the incident.
Schools find themselves faced with such a wide variety of situations, and they need a system of responding to all circumstances, not just the drastic, life threatening ones.
Since the initial development stages, DIR-S has been intended to fit the needs of large and small scale situations.
When a teacher, officer, or school/district administrator enters DIR-S to send out an alert, it brings up a list of categories showing the alert category presets determined by their district or state. Generally, there will be options of Lockout, Shelter in Place, Lockdown, Evacuate, and Assistance Needed.
From there, they are prompted to a different screen where they indicate whether they are “safe” or “unsafe.”
From there they are to indicate their location. All teachers will have default locations saved that they can click to confirm, or if they are in a different place than usual, they open up the digital map of the school and select their current location.
In just these two quick steps, first responders and district officials are able to see who needs help, and exactly where they are.
From there, they are directed to a chat page where everyone involved in the incident is able to have active communication. They can also navigate to the map where they can see the status of the other rooms in the building
There is also a tab entirely dedicated to the event that there might be a missing person. On this page teachers, officials, and responders can see what students are not accounted for, and when they find them, they can report them as “found” on that page. It will then say who found them, and at what time they were found.
All of this is saved in DIR-S, and can be revisited after everything has been resolved.
DIR-S has been developed and updated with the sole objective of keeping its facilities safe and well connected. We meet regularly with our clients to review how DIR-S can best meet their individual circumstances. Every facility we have outfitted with DIR-S that has taken it seriously and familiarized themselves with it, has felt like the above-mentioned schools; they've been glad they had it when it mattered most.