While cell phones were long viewed as a distraction in the classroom or a potential vehicle for academic dishonesty, that mindset is shifting. Educators continue to realize the computing power and educational benefits of smartphones. Not only is mobile technology changing the way school-aged children and teens communicate — and how they spend their time — it’s also become an integral part of how they learn.
Unfortunately, the need for reliable and effective safety and alert systems has also become a reality for K-12 schools. These systems, which allow internal and outgoing notifications in the event of an emergency, rely on cellular signals. Alerts can be sent via text, Twitter notification, email, or dedicated apps. If a cellular signal is weak or non-existent, the safety of staff and students is at risk.
Investing in school safety
Creating a safe learning environment for students and educators is a top priority and vital to academic success in our nation’s K–12 schools. The U.S. government recognizes the need to support state and local leaders and has even taken an active role in this effort by offering grants to promote safety.
"Our nation's schools must be safe places to learn, where students feel connected and supported. These grants allow local leaders to tailor their approach to school safety and mental health in ways that meet their students' individual needs, and their particular school's unique challenges." -Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education
Strong cell coverage is essential to effective two-way communication. Teachers and students inside your school must be able to connect with emergency responders outside of the facility.
If you’re a school administrator, it’s important to support these technologies and maintain a reliable safety alert system by ensuring a reliable cellular signal in your building. Accessing a strong indoor signal can be difficult depending on campus size and location, building age and infrastructure. Many hundreds of students and teachers accessing a network can also overload it if it’s too weak to meet those demands.
Here are some of the challenges with indoor cell signal reception:
- Many schools are constructed of thick, signal-blocking concrete and brick, which prevents a cell signal from entering or leaving the building.
- Weak or nonexistent cell signals can also be problematic in classrooms located in a basement or lower level.
- Poor reception makes it nearly impossible to communicate critical information via phone calls or texts messages from inside a school.
Safety is critical in every K-12 learning environment. An all-inclusive, ongoing protection strategy is the foundation for emergency preparedness. Technology plays an important role in keeping your students and educators safe. We are ready to help you implement effective safety measures, centered on enhanced two-way cellular communication and tailored to work for your school.
Take the next step, contact us for a free consultation regarding cell phone signal amplifiers (repeaters/passive DAS system) and safety for your K-12 school.