School staff need to feel safe to work, and students need to feel safe to learn. Many jurisdictions have enacted legislation that requires public schools to address safety concerns with technology such as a school safety system or a school alert system.
Alyssa’s Law requires public elementary and secondary schools to be equipped with silent panic alarms directly linked to law enforcement. Alyssa’s Law was enacted to decrease the time it takes for first responders to arrive at emergency situations. From violent threats to natural disasters, the legislation requires schools to make it possible for staff to request immediate assistance, no matter the origin of the emergency. Alyssa’s Law has passed in several states: New Jersey in February 2019, Florida in June 2020, New York in June 2022, and Texas and Tennessee in May 2023. Lawmakers in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Virginia, and most recently, Pennsylvania have introduced Alyssa’s Law for consideration. It has also been introduced on the federal level.
Florida HB 301 was enacted on July 1, 2023. The law was designed to make responses to crisis situations more effective and improve the utilization of mapping technology. HB 301 provides that digital school maps should integrate seamlessly with law enforcement agencies’ current software. Law enforcement will have the information they need at their fingertips to direct officers to where they’re needed.
The bill outlines minimum requirements for the mapping data and instructs school systems to create maps in electronic or digital formats. Along with the implementation of other school safety systems, digital mapping of schools is another step toward safety and security for everyone on campus, from students to faculty to visitors.
In the past, school systems have made campus renderings available to first responders and other officials, but interpreting blueprints during a crisis can cost precious seconds.
HB 301 requires the Florida Department of Education to create a School Mapping Data Grant Program. According to the legislation, “Each school district, in consultation with local law enforcement and public safety agencies, may apply to receive funds from the program to provide school mapping data for each public school, including charter schools, in the district.”
Because Florida’s School Mapping Data Grant Program mandates digital maps, first responders will have access to up-to-date information during emergencies that they can access on:
- other technology useful for communication
HB 301 includes a $14 million appropriation to help fund compliance with the bill’s requirements. According to the bill, school districts must:
- Ensure all campus doors and buildings bear easily identifiable markings.
- Mark exterior classroom windows so first responders can identify classrooms from outside the building.
- Place building numbers on the roof for aerial support.
- Provide access to on-duty law enforcement so they can quickly enter the school.
Federal guidance requires emergency responders to “have advance information on where students, staff, and others with disabilities, as well as those with access and functional needs, are likely to be sheltering or escaping, generally in physically accessible locations, along accessible routes, or in specific classrooms.”
Partnering with school safety companies to implement a school safety system or school alert system can help you comply with Florida’s new regulations.
CENTEGIX: Your School Safety System Partner
CENTEGIX provides schools with tools for emergency response that save time and save lives. CENTEGIX Safety Blueprint delivers accurate digital mapping and provides users the ability to add safety assets to the digital map to further reduce the time needed to respond to an adverse event. Plus, it meets all requirements of Florida HB 301. The Florida Department of Education has deemed CrisisAlert™ fully compliant with the requirements of Alyssa’s Law. Safety Blueprint™ and CrisisAlert together offer the benefit of:
- precise alert locations for responders
- a single map source interoperable with other departments and applications
- the ability to assign roles to emergency responders
- no Wi-Fi or cell data required
- connections to several emergency services technologies
- real-time coordination among multiple first responder agencies
- integration with local public safety answering points to transmit 911 calls
The technology also can be used to plan evacuations and reunifications, which are imperative to keeping students and staff members safe during different types of potentially threatening events.
CENTEGIX Visitor Management enhances the management of school traffic including staff, student tardiness, and visitors. Enhanced Visitor Management is capable of locating all visitors on campus—which is vital to whole-community safety in the event of emergencies such as extreme weather.
CENTEGIX also proudly partners with the following school safety companies:
- Singlewire’s InformaCast® platform enables districts to leverage existing safety technology investments to better respond to, notify, and manage emergency incidents.
- RapidSOS links life-saving data from connected devices, apps, and sensors to RapidSOS safety agents, 911, and first responders to reduce response times and increase situational awareness during an on-campus emergency.
- PowerSchool provides innovative K-12 student information software and cloud-based solutions to improve educational outcomes and simplify school operations.
- ClassLink OneRoster designed to provide a standardized method of transferring SIS data between two OneRoster-compliant systems.
The success of a safety solution depends on its adoption and effectiveness. CrisisAlert users have repeatedly shared overwhelmingly positive experiences with the wearable CrisisAlert badge.
Every. Second. Matters.® Be prepared in the event that an emergency strikes. CENTEGIX is a national leader in developing innovative school safety solutions that help keep students and staff members safe from potential threats. Click here to learn more about what we can do for your district and to see a demo of the CENTEGIX Safety Platform.