WARWICK, Rhode Island (February 21, 2007)–In response to the large number of applications received for its fall program, SchoolSpan will reopen its SchoolSpan Safe Schools Grant to offer schools an effective communications tool for anonymously reporting any potentially dangerous situation to the appropriate administrators or public officials. SchoolSpan will grant schools free use of its Anonymous Alert module for at least five years in an effort to help improve school safety. The application period has been reopened from March 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007.
In the initial wave of the program in Fall 2006, 50 school districts representing over 300 schools and 250,000 students enrolled and added Anonymous Alert to their school web sites free of charge.
Valued at $500 per annual license, SchoolSpan Anonymous Alert is a web-based module that enables anyone in the school community to send an anonymous message to school officials, warning them of drugs, guns, violence, unusual student behavior, unauthorized visitors or any potential student crisis that warrants immediate attention. Information is instantly relayed directly to the school principal or district administrator for proper action.s
"School experts agree that an open, direct channel of communication is critical to maintaining a safe school environment. Recognizing that we have a powerful tool that can help schools improve communications and safety, we decided to offer all K-12 schools in the U.S. a free license for our Anonymous Alert product for at least five years," said SchoolSpan President Sojin Lim.
"As recent tragic events have demonstrated, the threat of violence on school campuses is real and something that we must work together as a community to prevent. In almost all cases of school violence, officials learn too late that someone was aware of an individual´s odd behavior, threats, or other signs of potential danger, but did not inform authorities in time," said SchoolSpan vice president Elliott Levine. "SchoolSpan´s offer gives schools a much easier way for students to instantly relay information to the proper authorities, without being identified. This will encourage students who may be reluctant to come forward otherwise."
SchoolSpan´s flexible approach allows schools and districts to implement individual modules, paying only for the features and tools they need with the option to add other modules over time. The modules can be easily integrated into existing web sites, so schools can maintain their existing design and content, protecting their current investment.
A one-year SchoolSpan Anonymous Alert license would normally sell for $500 if purchased separately, or could be packaged with other SchoolSpan web-based modules to help teachers, schools and district offices communicate more effectively with all key audiences.
For example, schools and districts often also rely upon another module, SchoolSpan Emergency Announcement, to immediately inform parents and the community when there is a crisis. The system takes advantage of text messaging features to reach people via their cell phones with emergency announcements generated by authorized staff. This helps alleviate clogged phone lines, and also ensures concerned parents receive accurate, consistent information about the situation.
"In today´s school environment, students with cell phones quickly start calling others to share information, which is often incomplete or inaccurate. Our system makes sure parents immediately receive reliable information directly from the school or district, and can be reassured about their students´ safety," commented Lim.
The program is open to public school districts in the U.S. To take advantage of the SchoolSpan Anonymous Alert grant, schools can apply online at www.schoolspan.com. Applications will be accepted from March 1, 2007 until June 30, 2007. Upon acceptance, school officials must take part in a web presentation to learn how to use the application.
SchoolSpan is the largest provider of interactive, add-on web site modules for K-12 school districts. As experts in school public relations and electronic marketing, SchoolSpan´s staff helps schools create effective web sites that serve as essential communications tools, foster greater interaction among the community within and outside of the school system, and provide a positive first impression that shows how well they understand technology. Using a flexible, modular approach, SchoolSpan offers advanced tools and services to provide a dynamic, two-way method of communicating with staff, parents, students, alumni and the community. For more information, visit the company´s web site at www.schoolspan.com.