✓ School safety assessments conducted on-site using mobile devices.
✓ A detailed catalog of campus data showing everything from floor plans to key contacts to reunification protocols.
✓ Instantaneous alerts about fights, illegal drug activity, bullying, bomb threats, vandalism — even routine operational matters like bus arrivals and departures — submitted from a smartphone.
✓ An at-a-glance calendar of safety drills for every school in a district.
✓ A map showing schools, incidents, events, school bus routes, traffic and weather, or a list of nearby wildfires or hazmat sites.
If you’re a school district security director, or a police chief or sheriff whose SROs patrol public schools, the above checklist represents the kinds of capabilities you need to achieve what the security community calls total domain awareness.
Haystax has been in the domain awareness business since our earliest federal and state government deployments in the late 1990s. And our Haystax for School Safety solution, a suite of dedicated apps seamlessly integrated into a single cloud-based ‘ecosystem,’ has been helping protect students, staff and facilities since 2014.
To us, campus domain awareness simply means knowing everything there is to know about each and every school in your area of responsibility, and then understanding all of the bad things that could happen in and around campus, be it an accident, intentional act or natural hazard.
So as our way of kicking off America’s Safe Schools Week, here are some of the ways we help school districts — and entire states like Florida — achieve total school domain awareness.
Know Your Schools
- Assets App: Imagine every critical piece of campus information in one place: floor plans and site maps, emergency plans, contact details and photos of principals and other key personnel, utilities and communications nodes — all of it precisely geo-located for easy reference on a map, and shareable with all authorized users.
- Assessments App: Using an iPad or Android tablet (image right), assessors can conduct threat and vulnerability assessments directly from campus, answering predetermined questions, capturing geo-located photos and in-the-moment observations and much more. Finished assessments can be printed in their entirety or customized into sections, and multi-school assessment rollup reports give district or state safety leaders a broad view of key vulnerabilities, trends and returns on security investments.
Understand Your Threats
- Incidents/Field Reports Apps: Mobile apps that give SROs or school police officers the ability to submit instant alerts with photos and geo-tagged data are a key component of the Haystax awareness ecosystem. Drop-down menus make selecting the incident type easy. Talk-to-text and photo submissions ensure fast, detailed reporting. Submissions are displayed immediately as incident reports on the web interface (image below). All submissions can be viewed in list form, filtered and sorted, and printed for review and response by senior leaders and decision-makers.
- Events App: Manage all upcoming active-shooter, fire, hazmat and other safety drills, as well as school-specific events like plays, sports games, fields trips and the like.
- Threat Streams App: Monitor information from a wide array of digital sources, such as news reports, traffic and weather alerts and even specialized feeds from police, fire and other emergency systems. The app features a large number of custom channels for monitoring prominent individuals, schools and activities relevant to a district or school.
- Map App: All of the domain information described above is integrated in a map for better contextual awareness (image below). This includes not just the schools themselves but also the incident, fields report and events in and around each campus. The map also can ingest existing data like camera and sensor feeds, incident and 911 alerts, natural hazard warnings and the like to aid in rapid decision-making.
There is too much dynamic activity taking place in a district these days to rely on radios or blueprints or paper maps. Real school domain awareness means 24/7 on-screen accessibility to information and updates, leading to better understanding of a situation and a more streamlined ability to make informed response decisions.
# # #
Note: Do your part during America’s Safe Schools Week to learn more about the security challenges facing K-12 and higher-ed institutions. Download our white paper, Managing School Safety in the 21st Century.