ADT Security Services promoted its many school security solutions, which include a school security diagram, a school security checklist, “10 Steps for Proactively Planning Your School’s Security,” ADT Video Surveillance Solutions, a Visitor Identification Management System, and ADT Mobile Video Solutions. The company says it can customize solutions for everyone from the smallest campus to the largest school district.
AdvancePath, a Virginia-based company that engages in public-private partnerships with school districts to create cost-effective and results-driven Learning Academies serving high-risk and out-of-school youth, touted its best practice with Glendale High School in Glendale, Calif. Each of AdvancePath’s academies enrolls at-risk students who attend one of three four-hour shifts per day (morning, afternoon, and evening). All facilities are fitted with the necessary technology, furniture, and meeting space for students to work independently on their studies or in small groups with their teachers and classmates. Glendale has an AdvancePath Academy that includes 120 students. In just one year, 11 students have graduated from the program. Students at Glendale’s AdvancePath Academy spend much of their time using specialized software programs aligned with California state standards to learn content for the classes they need to graduate.
The Army National Guard is offering a free public service called the YOU CAN School Program, which consists of 30 classroom-delivered presentations that use video, music, and graphics to introduce students to necessary life skills. The 30 presentations are grouped thematically using a color-coded system that combines similar topic ideas, such as Health and Social Well-Being, Life Betterment, Discovery, and Disaster Preparedness. Disaster Preparedness covers tornados, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, while Discovery deals with history, national security, and patriotism. Life Betterment covers problem solving, goal setting, and leadership, while Health covers school violence prevention, drugs and alcohol, and nutrition awareness.
BrainWare Safari, a cognitive skills development program presented in a video-game format, offered a recommendation from Eugene White, superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools. White calls BrainWare’s results on the district’s Boys Academy for students with poor discipline records “simply amazing” and says these students had increased confidence, greater motivation, and became better problem solvers after using BrainWare Safari. “Teachers say they demonstrated teamwork and support for each other … and test scores on the Woodcock Johnson Test illustrated tremendous improvement,” he says.
Casio demonstrated its full range of calculators and math software applications, including the fx-9860G Slim graphing calculator, which is ideal for students from eighth grade to college, the company says. This calculator features a slim design with a flip-top; a large, high-contrast display with backlighting; an onboard help manual, and USB connectivity to a computer and projector, all for $91. Among its software, Casio offers the ClassPad Manager for the ClassPad300 v. 3.0-an advanced graphing calculator that includes a collection of applications for self-study, a computer algebra system (CAS) spreadsheet, a statistics wizard, and a financial application. It also comes with screen-capture capabilities.
The Center for Disease Control’s Division of Adolescent and School Health discussed its Healthy Youth web site, which has an array of tools, resources, and data to help guide school health programs. Tools include a school health index, a physical education curriculum analysis tool, a food safety action guide, school nutrition success stories, and program evaluation tutorials. Resources include fact sheets on obesity, tobacco use, and HIV, as well as science-based guidance for addressing asthma, childhood obesity, injury and violence, nutrition, sexual risk behaviors, and physical activity. Data cover school health profiles, a school health policies and programs study, and a youth risk behavior surveillance system.
Emerald Data Solutions demonstrated its BoardDocs system for online board meetings. BoardDocs technology allowed John Sedlock-a school board member for the Liberty School District in Liberty, Mo., and a soldier deployed to serve in Afghanistan-to receive his board packet while overseas, the company says. All documents were available to Sedlock through the BoardDocs online portal, eMail, and teleconferencing. Board meetings in Liberty took place at 4:30 a.m., Afghanistan time-and Sedlock reportedly attended every meeting except one.
eSped, a developer of web-based Individual Education Plan (IEP) applications and services for parents, administrators, and educators, introduced its eStar Archive, designed especially for the storage, archiving, faxing, scanning, and fast retrieval of the information contained in special-education students’ complete files. eSped’s partnerships with state and federal governments ensure that the new tool meshes with government mandates, the company says. eStar Archive can capture paper documents and store them in electronic format; store correspondence from parents, signature pages, and virtually any third-party documents such as medical evaluations and other reports; archive digital voice recordings of meetings and access them as if they were documents; provide parents with immediate access to their child’s entire special-ed file; and more.
First Student Planning Solutions (FSPS), a consulting group, discussed its expertise in student transportation and routing, with more than 150 years of collective experience. FSPS has developed proficiencies in several student transportation software platforms, including Edulog, VersaTrans, TransFinder, Trapeze Software, and ESRI’s ArcGIS. In the past 15 years, the company has directly assisted more than 200 clients in the use or deployment of routing and boundary planning systems, or provided consultations about routing efficiency.
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies introduced Schlage, a portfolio of services that offers a security solution for every point in a school building. Schlage gives teachers, administrators, and staff the tools to improve access control throughout the building and protect the school from unwanted visitors. From mechanical key systems to fully integrated electronic access management, Schlage provides a full spectrum of reliable, cost-effective products, the company says. There are four levels to Schlage security: campus integration; networked access control, accountability, and credential management; stand-alone electronic access control and key management; and functional and compliant mechanical access control. Solutions include safe school locks, campus locks, wireless locks, biometric readers, L Series Mortise Locks, ND Series Lever locks, and a value integration platform.
The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) announced its newest SRO Active Shooter Response Course, which is being taught in conjunction with instructors from the Tactical Defense Institute. This is an intense, 40-hour course that focuses specifically on one- and two-officer response to an active shooter or random violent incident on a school campus. NASRO still offers a Basic SRO Course, which is a 40-hour block of instruction designed for any law enforcement officer or school administrator working in an educational environment. The course emphasizes three main areas of instruction: functioning as a police officer in the school setting, working as a resource officer and problem solver, and developing teaching skills.
The Outside Classroom, in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), introduced AlcoholEdu, a web-based course for high schools to help combat underage drinking. AlcoholEdu incorporates proven alcohol prevention techniques with essential science-based alcohol education, the organizations say. Students can access the course from any internet-connected computer with a unique login ID, and administrators can track their progress through the course, including their final exam grades, via an online Administrative Site. The course also features surveys, interactive exercises, a final exam, a concluding segment, custom pathways, and personalized feedback. Both organizations hope the interactive course will change student attitudes toward drinking and support safer, healthier decisions.
Saf-T-Net discussed AlertNow, designed to address schools’ communication needs. The product supplements conventional school communications and replaces outdated phone trees and automated dialing tools that require staff resources and large blocks of time to deliver messages to multiple recipients. AlertNow displays the school phone number on caller ID for non-emergency calls and distinguishes urgent emergency calls with a “411” caller ID display. The system reportedly can handle 120,000 calls every 10 minutes and 7,200 text messages every minute. It also can communicate with non-English speaking communities in their native language, Saf-T-Net says.
Business-intelligence firm SAS announced that the Plano Independent School District in Texas is using its software to measure student progress and predict performance on end-of-year state accountability tests. Using the SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform, Plano’s teachers have quick access to student data to predict outcomes and intervene to help students reach their potential, the company says. The data can be presented visually, which helps when teachers need to communicate with parents. Plano also can use the data to better assess the quality of its teaching. The district reportedly has been so pleased with the initial SAS implementation that it is expanding its use into human resources and finance.
Schoolwires Synergy discussed its digital file-sharing service-a secure, centralized web site that provides access to content such as documents, files, and presentations. Administrators, teachers, and students can use the service to store, organize, and share files at anytime and from anywhere, the company says. The service can enhance communication among stakeholders and establish a bridge for the school-home connection by allowing files to be managed in a central repository with private, public, and shared folders, allowing users to remain organized, find files easily, and eliminate folder clutter.
Videx said that school systems are starting to use its CyberLock security system to help with key-control problems. The CyberLock system incorporates the mechanical lock hardware that is already present in school buildings. Cylinders inside the existing locks just need to be replaced with CyberLock electronic cylinders, and this is done without the costs of hardwiring and structural changes, Videx said. The system includes the CyberLock cylinder, which cannot be picked, and an electronic key that cannot be duplicated. Facility managers can track and audit access to sensitive areas, because both the lock and key store a record of openings and denied entries. The electronic key can be programmed to open all or selected doors on pre-specified days, and only during certain times on those days. Keys also can be set with a date to begin operation and a date to expire. The Stonington Public School System in Pawcatuck, Conn., vouches for CyberLock.