Maywood Public Schools
- Desire for an enhanced emergency communications system to provide an elevated level of safety, especially during urgent situations like lockdowns
- Desire for an expanded telecommunications solution including telephony in every classroom
- Old paging head-end unit and need for enhanced speaker coverage to eliminate potential dead zones
- Desire for total-coverage communications so notifications reach all the occupants of the school and its grounds
- MiVoice Connect
- E911 application
- Paging head-end upgrade with additional speakers
- LENS from Eastern DataComm
- E911 and LENS technology integrated to offer a comprehensive emergency communications solution
- Teachers can activate lockdown themselves from any classroom
- Build-in intercom feature on the phones for an easy-to-use interface for every classroom, allowing for one-to-one communication with the teacher instead of a page-all
- New technology, efficiencies, and peace of mind delivered within a limited budget
- Real-life use of emergency technology demonstrated its effectiveness and reliability
Maywood Public Schools sought to implement updated emergency communications while also streamlining collaboration between staff, teachers, and parents. Eastern DataComm, was able to provide the perfect mix of integrated solutions, pairing MiVoice Connect and E911 with Eastern DataComm’s Lockdown Emergency Notification System (LENS).
Streamlining communication would require enhancing the current telecommunications availability within the school by adding phones to classrooms and any areas that did not currently have them. Maywood knew that this would allow for the ease of communication at key moments including when staff were searching for a student or trying to contact a parent.
“What we wanted to do was allow staff to have the ability to communicate with each other room-to-room and also have the chance for staff to communicate to the outside, whether it be a parent, a vendor or whatever the case may be, from the luxury of their classroom,” remarks Michael Jordan, Superintendent of Maywood Public Schools.
The district also wanted to enhance its emergency notification system to be even more effective in responding to urgent situations. Their legacy provider was not offering the level of safety they wished to offer students and staff. Namely, they wanted a system that could notify the police and everyone on school grounds of an emergency promptly. Of equal importance, they also wanted the ability for teachers to put the school in lockdown from their classrooms.
Enhancing their emergency communication system and their overall school safety ecosystem in this way would allow for automation of response, greatly reducing the chance for human error when every second counts.
The school district turned to Eastern DataComm, which offered a comprehensive safety solution called LENS (Lockdown Emergency Notification System). LENS paired seamlessly with the business communications platform, MiVoice Connect, and the E911 application creating an end-to-end communications system offering next-level protection for students and staff.
“The representatives that we dealt with from Eastern DataComm were top-notch,” comments Michael, noting the team’s attentive customer service and innovative ways to address the district’s efficiency and safety concerns. Maywood Schools’ new communications solutions provide teachers with a reliable phone system and optimal security during emergencies, with the cost-effectiveness that fit within their budget.
LENS and E911 not only integrated with each other, but also with a third-party application that the district had deployed for staff and teacher smartphones. Thus, Maywood Schools is able to continue leveraging its existing investments while experiencing seamless integrations across all its communications solutions.
Michael specifically noted Eastern DataComm’s reliability and attention to detail as a key differentiator from the competition. Relative to the technology installation, he remarked, “The deployment couldn’t have been any smoother. There have been absolutely no hiccups whatsoever along the way. It was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.”
Staff and teachers are now not only more secure, but can easily communicate with each other and with parents from the convenience of their classrooms or office spaces thanks to MiVoice Connect. This impressive platform brings communications and collaboration tools together into one easy-to-use interface. This has improved productivity and saved staff valuable time each day.
“They have that phone in the room and the ability to communicate one-to-one,” remarks Michael. “It takes a lot of the everyday stressors off your table.”
He also elaborated on the importance of system performance in a school, saying, “From a school district’s perspective, cost savings come into play when you think about efficiency, and I can tell you that our main offices are much more efficient. I can tell you that our staff is utilizing our technology much more efficiently because they have it at their disposal now.”
Perhaps the greatest improvement is seen in the district’s new emergency communications, with teachers now able to activate a lockdown themselves simply by dialing a code on the phone.
Once dialed, both the 911 dispatch and the local police are directly contacted with a prerecorded message that the school is in lockdown. Additionally, everyone on school grounds is immediately notified by a prerecorded lockdown message over the school PA, strobe lights, calls to desk phones, calls to cell phones, PC screen pops, emails, and text messages. This sequence happens automatically and simultaneously, allowing the teacher to focus on getting their kids to safety with the assurance that everyone else, including the police, will be notified of the danger in seconds.
“Teachers feel so much more secure,” observes Michael. “They feel so much more trusted and emboldened by the fact that now they don’t have to worry about getting a message to the main office. They can activate things themselves and take ownership when they see something or when they hear something.” The efficacy of the LENS and E911 solutions was put to the test only days after it was first installed when a teacher’s young son mistakenly pressed a panic button in the hallway after classes had ended for the day. Notifications to the police were immediately put out and the school went into lockdown, with strobe lights and audio notifications directing the teachers and students to lockdown.
Police soon arrived and discovered it was only a false alarm, though they were impressed with the effectiveness of the technology. While the school district was thankful a real emergency had not occurred, they felt additionally secure having seen the emergency communications technology successfully in use.
“Unless something like this is utilized, you just don’t understand how powerful it is,” stresses Michael. “They [the police] literally were just singing the praises of the system.”
In addition, the scalability of the solution means it will expand and evolve with the school district, keeping its students and staff safe at any location they add.
“We will be involved in an expansion project pretty soon,” comments Michael. “There’s no doubt in my mind that anything that we do expansion-wise is going to include this [technology].”