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Using Technology to Safely Return to Schools

Kelly Moore
August 4, 2020

It seems with all of the inconsistencies with the federal, state, and local guidelines, school administrators are struggling to find a solution for the overarching problem: How do we get our students, staff, and visitors back to our campuses safely?

With 34 years in law enforcement, and 9 years of experience managing large-scale emergencies and crisis response, I can speak on the importance of communications and having actionable data to drive incident management.

Based on my conversations with school leaders, data from CrisisGo’s crowd-sourcing project, and my own experience, I’ve identified 7 common issues that school districts are struggling with regarding the reopening and getting some sense of normalcy back into our lives. Many schools are asking:

  1. How do we ensure the safety of our students, staff, and visitors on our campus?
  2. What does the screening process look like for people entering our campus?
  3. How do we develop our screening process (manual or digital)?
  4. How do we verify the self-certification process and validate the screening process?
  5. How do we ensure that parents are informed and participating in the new safety policies?
  6. How do we manage the “What if this happens” scenarios?
  7. How do we track our students when we have a hybrid learning model?

In order to reopen schools safely and take the aforementioned issues into consideration, schools will need to construct a screening process that allows students, staff, and visitors to establish and certify their health status before they enter the school building. Certifying their health status after they have entered a building will significantly reduce the objective and effectiveness of your screening process.

The school entry screening process will likely include the following components: (1) Daily student, staff, and visitor health surveys; (2) A certification and validation process; (3) A temperature verification station; (4) Student, staff, and visitor certification data collection for contact tracing and illness trend identification; (5) And some guidance to all stakeholders in the event someone is exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

With so many factors that need to be considered, implemented, and maintained to keep the reopening of schools safe, many schools and organizations across the country are turning to technological solutions to help them manage these new safety protocols with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CrisisGo has specifically developed a comprehensive digital health screening tool to assist schools in determining the health status of their students and staff. Our safety technology solution, Safety iPass, allows students, staff, and visitors to self-certify their health status, and schools can quickly validate the self-certification while collecting the necessary safety data.

By completing a daily health survey, Safety iPass allows parents to “self-certify” that their children are safe to return to school. Safety iPass does the same for your staff by allowing them to “self-certify” their health status before arriving at work each day. Once it has been confirmed that the student or staff member have been certified as safe to return to school, they are issued a Digital Entry Badge (DEB), which can be scanned at the entry point for your school to validate and verify their ability to enter safely. When paired with the Standard School Entry Method (SSEM), you can implement a screening method that fosters the best opportunity possible to keep students and staff safe while participating in an engaging school experience.

As many school districts are racing against the clock to find and implement a safety solution that will best help their students and staff return to school this fall, I encourage you and your school safety leaders to consider how Safety iPass will enable your schools to efficiently and effectively conduct safety screenings while allowing your safety leaders to monitor and report the safety data necessary to allow stakeholders to respond to trends at the earliest opportunity.

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