Whether class time or play time, emergencies can occur. Now, two Lubbock school districts will be able to communicate with parents within seconds. "Our school has put together a crisis management plan in the event of an emergency and how we respond to it," says Christ the King Cathedral School Principal Christine Wanjura. This year, part of that crisis management plan at both Christ the King Cathedral School and at Lubbock Christian Schools includes Honeywell Instant Alert.
Here's how it works. The school types in a message to parents. Then that message will go out every parent via land line, cell-phone, e-mail or pager. "One of the primary goals is in the event of some type of emergency either local or national that we would be able to get word to parents through a variety of media," says Lubbock Christian Schools Superintendent Peter Dahlstrom.
Since the alert goes directly to the parent miscommunication is eliminated. Wanjura says, "We're really excited about being able to communicate with parents simultaneously and not have to worry about a phone tree and not have to worry about miscommunication or wrong information."
The alert system follows the same code as the Homeland Security Terror Alert. A red alert would signal an emergency and messages of less importance would be coded as such. Dahlstrom says, "The red alerts would be used by us for instance if we had an emergency situation at the school, if we had a fire, if we had a tornado. That would be used to both say there is a problem situation and what we would like parents to do or maybe because there is a tornado in west Lubbock and there is not a problem, then we would use it to say your children are safe."
The system is also customized so alerts only go out to specific sets of parents. "It could be something as simple as we have a sub group for 7th graders boys basketball team and they cancel a game on us at 1 p.m.because of snow in Amarillo and we'll send that message to those parents who are getting ready to leave home or their jobs to drive to Amarillo and we'll say there's no game today."
Safety Solutions that allows schools to communicate with parents instantly. Dahlstrom says, "With the climate in the world and country today, it's just reassuring to parents to know if anything were to happen, then we'll know about it soon."
Honeywell Instant Alert cost $2 per month per child. At Christ the King, the Home and School Association used fundraising money to pay for the system this year. Christ the King Cathedral School and Lubbock Christian Schools are the first districts in the state of Texas to use the alert system.
For more information on Honeywell Instant Alert, ( click here ).