The new school year has started. As kids focus on their new teachers and new classrooms, parents and school administrators are looking to tools that can help them stay organized and informed. From emergency situations, school closings or delayed openings to cancelled practice, special events and reminders, rapid notification systems provide peace of mind, keeping parents and schools connected.
Honeywell Instant Alert® for Schools is a leading tool used by thousands of K-12 schools across the U.S. The solution provides rapid communication to parents, guardians and staff - including voice calls, text and email – to almost any device. Messages are completely customizable and can be targeted to specific groups to control who receives what information. If soccer practice is rescheduled, an alert can be sent to just the parents and coaches involved.
The system is a fully hosted, cloud-based service with no hardware, software or phone lines to maintain or worry about in an emergency. Schools are able to send thousands of messages with just one click.
Proven Value in the Eye of the Storm
Caldwell-West Caldwell School District in New Jersey put Instant Alert to the test during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, the largest hurricane to hit the mid-Atlantic and eastern shore of the U.S.
Faced with severe weather, school closings, power outages, city curfews and other safety concerns, the district counted on Instant Alert to stay in continuous communication with its 2,650 students, 230 teachers, 225 administrators and support staff. Without Instant Alert, much of the communication would have been done via phone chain or call tree, which are unreliable and have proven problematic in the past, especially in circumstances where there are wide-spread power outages.
Caldwell first used Instant Alert during Sandy to let people know about school closings, but quickly realized it could be a valuable tool to send reminders about curfews and to encourage parents and guardians to keep their kids away from school grounds due to safety issues related to downed power lines and debris in the streets. The value to the community was so clear, that the district was soon asked to send messages on behalf of local government.
Read more about how Honeywell Instant Alert helped schools, government and business during 2012 Hurricane Sandy.
Casting a Wider Net: Daycare
During the 2013 school year, Honeywell Instant Alert sent 47 millions alerts to parents of K-12 children. And based on the continued value it delivers to districts and feedback from parents more organizations that work with kids have started to adopt the service, specifically childcare centers. With Instant Alert it’s much easier to address growing safety and security concerns while keeping the learning environment productive. And it goes beyond emergency situations. Schools are now using Honeywell Instant Alert for daily communication like schedules, newsletters, attendance notifications and announcements.
"Honeywell Instant Alert has been a wonderful tool that we have utilized many times with our families," said Michelle Medin, Assistant Director of Mount Olivet Child Learning Center in Plymouth, Minn. "We are a child care center that serves around 40 families and when we need to quickly alert them to closings or other important information, Honeywell Instant Alert is a lifesaver. Our families have really grown to love the program and appreciate being able to customize their profile to meet their needs/preferences. We not only use it for emergency closings, but also reminders for special events that are happening at the center."
In 2014, 50 childcare centers across the U.S. will utilize Instant Alert to stay connected with the parents and guardians of about 8200 students.
Today, more is expected of schools than ever before. Instant Alert keeps teachers and administrators focused on providing a productive and effective learning environment that is safe, secure, healthy and fostering student success.