Cassville schools launch CrisisGo system

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Application aims to improve communication in emergencies

This month, the Cassville school district plans to implement the CrisisGo program district-wide.

CrisisGo is a mobile emergency application aiming to make communication faster and more efficient in the event of an emergency by sending a message to school staff members' phones, tablets or laptops.

The application, in effect, takes standard emergency plans a step further by eliminating standard, formal paperwork procedures and focusing on getting important messages out to those who need them, quickly.

"Our number one concern is keeping our students and staff safe at all time," said Richard Asbill, superintendent. "Our crisis management plans are fully developed and up-to-date, and our staff is prepared to respond in the case of a crisis, however, our plans are pages long and CrisisGo is tailored to make emergency response information easily accessible in a quick manner.

"CrisisGo provides us the ability to implement app-base crisis response planning based on our individual school needs, i.e. building maps, procedures, notices, attendance, management planning, reunification plans, drills and notices."

The district learned about the program from the Missouri School Board's Association and a Big 8 superintendent meeting in Monett.

The cost to the district is $2,500.

"We decided to move to this platform to provide better and more effective crisis management planning and information to our staff, students, and parents," Asbill said. "CrisisGo gives administrators and teachers a two-way communication platform and securely stores important emergency preparedness plans and information such as checklists, class rosters, call lists and building maps.

"It will streamline each response with the pieces everyone needs in the event of a specific emergency."

Asbill provided examples of how the application would work in an emergency.

"For instance, in case of an emergency, a teacher would receive a message with step-by-step instructions on how he or she should respond to the crisis at hand," he said. "Communication with parents will be more available if/when a crisis response is needed. It gives parents access to information and the ability to know what is going on in case of an emergency."

In addition to emergencies, Asbill said the application will also ensure that parents receive important notifications like inclement weather notices in a timely, efficient manner. Another benefit is the application will give administrators, coaches or extra-curricular group sponsors access to emergency information and contacts for students in lieu of a piece of paper, which could be left on a bus, school or at home.

The program may also be used by Cassville students.

"It gives students the ability to make anonymous referrals on harassment or bullying," Asbill said.

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