Saving Time and Money with Centrally Managed Critical Communications
Keller ISD now handles emergencies, schedules and communications with a single solution
Keller ISD manages schedules & emergency communications district-wide, or school by school
A new critical communications solution at Keller ISD in Texas is saving the district time, money and effort by allowing Keller to uniformly manage schedules, emergency communications and drills, district-wide or school by school.
Rauland’s Telecenter U® solution allows Keller ISD to centralize all events, everyday communications and emergency planning from a exible, web-based system. Keller ISD is a K-12 public school district in Keller, Texas, north of Dallas/Ft Worth, serving more than 34,000 students from 43 campuses.
“Telecenter U handles all critical communications for us, and it’s a simple solution to understand and use.”
Joe Griffin, Chief Technology Officer, Keller ISD
“Not so long ago, everything had to be managed and maintained by each individual school, location by location,” said Joe Grif n, Keller’sChiefTechnologyOf cer. “Our campuses were not integrated, and that left us with limited processes and a lack of overall strategy along with a lot of opportunity for errors and omissions. That was a big problem.”
“When we changed bell schedules, for example, we had to do it by sending a technician out, campus by campus, to make the changes at each school,” he continued.
The older solution had been in place over the last 20 years, Griffin explained. “Maybe that worked for the needs then, but that older technology left us with no interface between campuses, and no opportunity for central management and communication,” he said.
“What drove the decision to update technology was the need for daily bell schedule changes at all campuses due to state testing requirements,” Grif n explained. “The time and expense of creating schedules school-by-school made it impossible to establish a consistent, effective solution that could drive critical communications when and where needed.”
“We’re always looking for better solutions for potential crises, for weather or lockdown emergencies,”Griffin said,“asking,‘how can we improve on this?’ Telecenter U gave us answers.”
Griffin explained that the Technology department worked closely with the District’s Security office in searching and reviewing possible solutions.
“We both had solutions to bring to the table,” Grif n said, “but we soon realized that Rauland’s Telecenter U® solution had the answers we needed, and we already knew the company and the solution well. We also thought highly of Lone Star Communications, the local Rauland distributor.”
“Now, instead of doing bells and schedules on location — one school at a time – the administration team can manage the bells online, centrally, from Telecenter’s web user interface,” Griffin said. “We can also manage drills centrally, or at each school based upon their needs, events and schedules.”
A related benefit of choosing Telecenter U, he noted, surrounded student testing periods, and Telecenter’s ability to centrally reduce or turn off specific speakers from the web user interface for student testing like ACTs. “That ability to control speakers centrally saves us the cost of sending a technician out to locations to physically turn the speakers off every time we schedule student testing,” Griffin said.
“In addition to saving us time and energy with a centrally managed solution, Telecenter U is helping us simplify our staff training, because every location and campus is now using the same technology in the same way.”
Joe Griffin, Chief Technology Officer, Keller ISD
Griffin added that another big advantage of the solution is the ability to integrate and operate other existing systems with Telecenter, including door access and security cameras.
“This gives us the ability to eliminate independent operation of dual systems, as they are now integrated and in sync with one another,” Griffin explained.
REPORTS AND DOCUMENTATION
The reporting that comes with Telecenter U is a tremendous benefit to the system, Griffin added.
“As all events, drills and emergencies are being handled in the system online, centrally or locally, we now have details and documentation available on each and every one. We can document what occurred, when it occurred and how it was activated, where via either the Telecenter U console, web user interface or panic button,” he said. “That has tremendous value in reviewing events after the fact, and in training for future ones.”
“Before putting this solution in place,” he continued, “we had to spend an incredible amount of time just to document the same amount of detail by hand. This ease of documentation has bene ted us tremendously – for the users and administration, and also for our security department.”
“In addition to saving us time and energy with a centrally managed solution,” Griffin said, “Telecenter U is helping us simplify our staff training, because every location and campus is now using the same technology in the same way.”
“Keller has a lot of different roles using the Telecenter U solution,” he said, “and the training can be consistent across all users, at all locations. Keller has been able to standardize both the initial training, and any follow-up needed.”
“Telecenter U handles all critical communications for us, and it’s a simple solution to understand and use,” Grif n said. “Because it’s used the same way across all locations, we’re able to bring in all of our users, from all campuses, for one uni ed training because it works the same way across all of the schools.”
The Telecenter U solution selected at Keller ISD manages Communications, Events/Scheduling, and Threat Management Automation school-by-school and across the district.
Elements of the solution used at Keller ISD include:
- Administrative console
- IP-based two-way communication from Classroom to Front Office
- Web-based User Interface
- Panic buttons
- Zone Page Modules
- Auxiliary Input/Output Module (integrated third-party legacy and security devices)