Using Blackboard Connect to Assist with School Safety & Security


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For any district's leadership, the safety and security of schoolchildren is of paramount concern. With Blackboard's mass communication services, districts can keep the entire school community informed, alert, and aware during an emergency or unforeseen event. Administrators can reach thousands of parents and staff in just minutes with critical information when it matters most.

Join Valerie Fuller, Director of Communications at Muscogee County School District (GA) and John Dye, Safety and Security Director at Killeen Independent School District (TX) as they share the various ways they are using the Blackboard Connect service to assist with school safety and security, as well as describe how they are having success with Blackboard Connect overall.

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Using Blackboard Connect to Assist with School Safety & Security

  1. 1. Using Blackboard Connect to Promote School Safety & Security Valerie Fuller , Director of Communications, Muscogee County School District John Dye , Safety and Security Director , Killeen Independent School District Mike Petersen , Manager, K-12 Solutions Engineers, Blackboard
  2. 2. Keeping them informed and aware Engaging and assessing learners at all levels Enrich the experience through devices they love Making their daily lives more convenient and secure
  3. 3. Our Vision: <ul><li>Close the gap between the way students live and the way they learn </li></ul><ul><li>Empower district leadership to communicate directly and effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Engage parents in their child’s academic progress </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver a 21st Century educational experience </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Fully-hosted notification and alert solution for reaching millions in minutes through Voice, Email, SMS, Text, TTY, Wireless, and PDA capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>2,600 clients in K-12, Higher Education, and Government </li></ul><ul><li>470 million messages delivered in 2009. 99.99% uptime, serving: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 5 K-12 students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 6 Higher Ed students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 million+ citizens </li></ul></ul>Keeping them informed and aware
  5. 6. Safety & Security –Critical to your Success <ul><li>Unlimited messaging </li></ul><ul><li>The voice of leadership in any event </li></ul><ul><li>SaaS platform/Initiate notifications from web/phone </li></ul><ul><li>Redundant capabilities/ </li></ul><ul><li>Robust architecture </li></ul>
  6. 7. KILLEEN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT <ul><li>Blackboard Connect Client Spotlight </li></ul>
  7. 8. Overview of District <ul><li>Killeen ISD– located in Killeen, TX </li></ul><ul><li>KISD Schools located in Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville, Fort Hood. </li></ul><ul><li>39,000 Students </li></ul><ul><li>31 Elementary Schools (grades PK-5th), eleven Middle Schools (grades 6-8), four High Schools (grades 9-12), two alternative schools, one career and technology center and several specialized campuses </li></ul><ul><li>Our staff is composed of 194 administrators; 503 support staff; 2,855 teachers; 1,187 secretaries and instructional aides; and 1,302 classified </li></ul><ul><li>employees. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Deciding on a Mass Notification System <ul><li>Four national ranked companies presented a briefing to a group of District and Campus level Staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard Connect was the clear selection. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Bb Connect Uses for Safety & Security <ul><li>At the Campus level, we use the system to alert parents of Emergency Situations. </li></ul><ul><li>District Level - few </li></ul><ul><li>Lockdown notifications </li></ul><ul><li>Evacuation / Relocation Situations </li></ul><ul><li>Nov 5, 2009 – Fort Hood Shootings </li></ul>
  10. 11. Bb Connect Other Uses <ul><li>Early releases / Delayed releases due to weather </li></ul><ul><li>H1N1 messages </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance notification and tardy messages </li></ul><ul><li>Different methods of communication – Redundancy </li></ul><ul><li>Key Factors – Keep it short, Refer to letters sent home, Refer to a Web Site </li></ul>
  11. 12. Results <ul><li>Our Bb Connect Client representative has been very helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>On Site Training of Campus Staff – separate presentations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Outreach, Emergency Messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) Attendance Messages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Since Oct 2008 - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,925 Outreach Messages, 10 Single Surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>45 Emergency Messages, 13,355 Attendance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>16, 335 Total Messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2,022,656 Phones called </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. National Interest <ul><li>In School Safety presentations to both State and National Organizations, the subject of Mass Notifications is always brought up. </li></ul><ul><li>KISD is very satisfied with the product and the support that Blackboard Connect has provided. </li></ul>
  13. 14. MUSCOGEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT <ul><li>Blackboard Connect Client Spotlight </li></ul>
  14. 15. MUSCOGEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT Department of Communications Director of Communications, Valerie Fuller MCSD School Safety & Security: How Mass Communications Can Help
  15. 16. Overview <ul><li>About MCSD </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation Project </li></ul><ul><li>Why Blackboard Connect </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance and Emergency Use </li></ul><ul><li>Safety Notices </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  16. 17. Our Mission The Muscogee County School District is committed to providing educational excellence that will enable each student to become a lifelong learner, enter the work force with necessary skills, and achieve academic and personal potential . Investing in the Future… Guiding Lifelong Learners to Endless Success
  17. 18. MCSD Goals <ul><li>Goal 1: Student Achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 2: Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 3: Human Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 4: Communication/Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 5: Effective & Efficient Use of Resources </li></ul>
  18. 19. Muscogee County School District <ul><li>32,500 Students </li></ul><ul><li>6,200 Employees </li></ul><ul><li>35 Elementary Schools </li></ul><ul><li>12 Middle Schools </li></ul><ul><li>9 High Schools </li></ul><ul><li>8 Centers and Programs </li></ul><ul><li>92% of School Age Children Attend MCSD Public Schools </li></ul>
  19. 20. Communications Director, Valerie Fuller <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Television </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Public Relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>K-12 Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher Education Instructor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>*Hired July 2007 </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Communications <ul><li> KEEP PACE (Proactive Administration of Communication in Education) </li></ul><ul><li>All Media Inquiries/Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Student and School Achievement/School Publicity </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard Connect Administration & Training </li></ul><ul><li>Be There-Parent Involvement Campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Open Records Requests </li></ul><ul><li>District-wide Communications Plans for all Divisions </li></ul><ul><li>News Releases and Publications </li></ul>
  21. 22. Communications Improvements <ul><ul><li>Streamline Internal & External Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid Notification System </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annual Report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quick Reference Parent Handbook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lighthouse Headlines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MCSD School Briefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muscogee Monday Messenger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District-wide Communications Plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Education Awareness Report (PEAR) 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Daily </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Why Blackboard Connect? <ul><li>Improve capabilities to provide consistent, timely communications with parents and staff, especially during emergencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance, Emergency, Community Outreach, Single Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Uses </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance Notification </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency Notification </li></ul>
  23. 24. Attendance Reporting Safety Timeline <ul><li>Start Time Notification </li></ul><ul><li>High Schools 8:25 a.m. 9:10 a.m. *Pending High School Improvement Grant Award (2 Schools) 7:40 a.m. 8:25 a.m. </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary Schools 8:00 a.m. 8:45 a.m. </li></ul><ul><li>Middle Schools 9:00 a.m. 9:45 a.m. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Days Absent 2005-2009 Percentage of students who have 15 or more days absent.
  25. 26. Graduation Rate 2005-2009 Numerator = Number of students who graduate with regular diplomas. Denominator = Number of dropouts in 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th from appropriate years +graduates + other completers.
  26. 27. Drop-Out Rate 2005-2009 Students are reported as drop outs if they leave school for one of the following reasons: Marriage, Expelled, Financial Hardship/Job, Incarcerated/Under Jurisdiction of Juvenile or Criminal Justice Authority, Low Grades/School Failure, Military, Adult Education/Postsecondary, Pregnant/Parent, Removed for Lack of Attendance, Serious Illness/Accident, and Unknown. Students Who Drop-Out Grades 9-12
  27. 28. Safety Notification Playground/Athletic Equipment <ul><li>May 11, 2010 This is an urgent safety notice to all schools in MCSD. Principals, assistant principals and coaches should check all outdoor play equipment and athletic equipment immediately. If students are currently using any of this equipment please remove them from these areas immediately. Columbus Police reported earlier today that razor blades were found taped to equipment in Lakebottom Park. If you have bleachers they need to be checked as well. Students should not be allowed in these areas until a thorough check has been made by school administrators and staff. If you have any questions or if you find anything that appears suspicious, please call Dr. Obleton, security, or Dr. Gary Gibson immediately. </li></ul>
  28. 29. Safety Notification Weapon at School <ul><li>February 23, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Hello, this is assistant principal Felicia Johnson calling with an important safety message for all St. Mary's Road parents. We want to inform you of an incident that occurred on campus today and make sure you have accurate information. No one was hurt or injured, however, a student brought an unloaded 9 mm gun to school today. The weapon was immediately confiscated by administrators who notified police and MCSD security. We commend our students and staff for reporting the safety violation and following proper procedures to ensure the safety of every child and employee as safety is a priority. Please take this time to review the weapons policy in the behavior code and discipline policy handbook with your child. If you have questions please contact our office at 706-683-8841. Thank you for helping us. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Other Safety Notifications <ul><li>Abductions </li></ul><ul><li>Gas Leaks </li></ul><ul><li>Power Outage </li></ul><ul><li>Tornado </li></ul><ul><li>Weather </li></ul><ul><li>Sports Watch/Cancellations </li></ul>
  30. 31. Effectiveness of Blackboard Connect <ul><li>Improved Internal and External Communications </li></ul><ul><li>We Tell the News to Parents & Employees First! </li></ul><ul><li>Reliable System to Rapidly Connect with Stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Helps Provide Facts Quickly and Dispel Rumors </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Communication Modes </li></ul><ul><li>User-Friendly </li></ul>
  31. 32. Challenge: School Safety & Security- Mitigating Misinformation from Media Coverage of DC Shooting Solution: Blackboard Connect ™ Result: District Reaches Parents Ahead of Media Coverage “ With the Blackboard Connect service, we were able to contact all our parents within a half hour. Much before the Boston media was able to get the message out, our message was already out there.” Dr. Lisa Dana, Superintendent Danvers School District, MA Danvers School District Blackboard Case Study <ul><li>Serves the students of Danvers, Massachusetts, a small town 15 miles north of Boston. </li></ul><ul><li>3,700 students </li></ul><ul><li>7 Schools (5 elementary, 1 middle, and 1 high school ) </li></ul>
  33. 34. Thank you! <ul><li>Valerie Fuller </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Muscogee County School District </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>John Dye </li></ul><ul><li>Safety and Security Director </li></ul><ul><li>Killeen Independent School District </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blackboard Connect </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(800) 424-9299 ext. 4 </li></ul>