Last month on our blog, we talked about how schools can prepare for disaster in regards to their school’s data and how to create a strong Disaster Recovery Plan. It’s always better to be prepared than to be hit with disaster unexpectedly, and in this article, we’ll be focusing on a topic with a very similar perspective: biometrics and their role in student safety during an emergency. Everybody can agree that students’ lives are far more important than any data, software, or hardware that might be lost in a disaster. So where can your school’s technology play a part in student safety? Enter biometrics.
What Is Biometrics, Anyways?
The word “biometrics” may sound complex and futuristic, but the concept is really quite simple. (Think less “Six Million Dollar Man” and more unlocking your smartphone with your fingerprint.) The usage of biometrics in schools is becoming more and more common with companies like identiMetrics™ offering fingerprint scanners for applications such as school attendance, staff time clocking, food service, library book check-ins/check-outs, and more.
According to the identiMetrics website, the software “is the easiest way to identify students and staff in any K12 situation when accuracy, accountability and security are critical. identiMetrics is 100% accurate, safe and secure and works with your seasoned staff down to the wee, little ones.” identiMetrics can be used in everyday tasks to increase efficiency, streamline processes, and ensure accuracy of data collected. But identiMetrics also offers a major benefit when it comes to student safety in emergent situations.
How Can identiMetrics Help in an Emergency?
Every parent, teacher, and administrator’s worst nightmare is for a disaster to occur at school. School boards, county offices, and administration teams spend hours upon hours in planning for and training employees to deal with disaster when it strikes. Whether it’s a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or student outbreak, every emergent situation is different. But they all have at least one common factor: accounting for students’ and faculty members’ whereabouts are a critical step in minimizing the harmful effects of a disaster. That’s where identiMetrics steps in. The software now offers a solution called RallyPoint Control™, which integrates with your school’s current identiMetrics software to “greatly enhance parent communication, student and staff information for emergency responders and systematic reunification of students with parents in the event of an emergency evacuation.”
How Does identiMetrics RallyPoint Control™ Work?
identiMetrics RallyPoint Control™ was created to strengthen communication in case of emergencies. The program works in a 4-step process, as outlined below:
- Students scan their fingers at the rally point. Regardless of where they are or what they are able to bring with them, they will ALWAYS have their fingers for identification.
- Within seconds, parents and/or emergency contacts are alerted with a text, email and/or phone call indicating their child is safe along with location information. Delivering all three types of communication can be vital during an emergency.
- The students who scan are compared in real-time to the last attendance report. A report of all students who are unaccounted for is sent to emergency responders and school officials. The system provides rich, real-time integration with ALL leading student information systems.
- To ensure a fast, controlled and safe reunification process, the student scans and the parents and/or emergency contacts receive an immediate text, email and/or phone call verifying to school officials that they are authorized to take their child home. The process is streamlined so you can focus on your other considerable responsibilities.
Our School Needs This! When Can We Have Installed?
It’s clear to see how beneficial a system like identiMetrics RallyPoint Control can be for your school. Whether you already make use of the identiMetrics program or not, we can help your school begin the process of installing this great software right away. If you have additional questions about how the program works, or want to discuss how your school can implement this program in the future, feel free to give us a call today!