The Coachella Valley Unified School District is ditching its old means of communication for its new Raptor Emergency Management System.
Staff and administrators will receive synced alerts through an application on their phones that'll notify them of an emergency on campus.
It'll also help them communicate with guardians more promptly, allowing staff to reunify students and their families in a more organized fashion during an emergency.
Elizabeth Sotelo is the principal at Desert Mirage High School, one of the three CVUSD schools that was evacuated back in November after a student was reported having a weapon on campus.
We asked the CVUSD's Director of Safety and Security, Gustavo Paiz if the district was planning to make any changes after that incident.
"We're moving from a pencil and paper system, and we're embracing the 'Raptor Emergency Management System.' It's an app, where everything is at your fingertips." says Paiz.
Several parents complained about the lack of communication and the confusion surrounding pick up.
That incident prompted the district's two-day reunification exercise.
Now all CVUSD staff are going to be able to use the 'Raptor Alert' application to communicate during emergencies, while logging their classroom's activity, then relaying that information to guardians.
Hannah Wesley, with Raptor Emergency Management System adds, "Another piece of it is also taking attendance during an emergency. So teachers can evacuate with their students, and let us know and the district staff know that 'All my students are accounted for, or I've got my student missing.'"
The application also lets staff report suspicious activity or any other emergency within seconds.
"In the event that there's an intruder, fire, lockdown, or a shelter in place," says Paiz.
Principal Sotelo says it's all part of an effort to keep students safe.
"It provides me with hope, and I do feel ready. I feel like I know what I'm going to do in case something like this happens," says Sotelo.
CVUSD says they're planning to issue alerts to families and guardians every thirty minutes in the case of an emergency.
The 'Raptor Alert' application is going to be primarily used by administration and staff.
The information that's provided through the application will then be transferred to the school's Blackboard system where parents receive notifications like emails and text messages.