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Schools adopt crisis-based app to improve safety

Oregon Trail effort based on sharing crisis, safety information

The Oregon Trail School District has introduced one more tool to keep students safe, one that fits in the palm of your hand.

In mid-April, the school district launched a smartphone app-based plan for district staff, which provides crisis phone numbers and emergency instructions that can be accessed with the click of a button. In early May, it released the same technology to students and parents.

There also is a push for students to use SafeSchools Alert, an online anonymous report line for bullying, harrasment, drugs, vandalism and any other school safety issue.

“The safety of our students and staff has always been a top priority,” said District Communications Director Julia Monteith. “These two programs provide us the technology to make crisis information more readily accessible.”

Because district staff was familiar with the programs that created these new technologically friendly tools, SafeSchools and SchoolDude, Monteith said embracing them was a natural step.

“When they developed Crisis Manager, we liked the idea of making this important information readily accessible to those who need it,” she noted.

Crisis Manager will allow both students and staff to access emergency plan instructions and emergency numbers quickly from their phones.

“Staff seem to appreciate the convenience and accessibility of the Crisis Manager app,” Monteith added. “It hasn’t been pushed out to students long enough yet to determine their response.”

Because Crisis Manager was released late in the school year, Monteith plans to ramp up efforts to make it known to students when school resumes in September.

The SchoolDude Crisis Manager app may be downloaded free of charge from the app store.

Oregon Trail recommends parents view the Oregon Trail Students and Families plan and advise their teenage students to download the app to their phones.

Tips to SafeSchools Alert may be reported in four different ways: by calling 844-262-7452, texting to the same number, emailing 1371@alert1.us or on the web at 1371.alert1.us.

“SafeSchools Alert provides anonymity to students who may not feel comfortable reporting in person,” Monteith said. “Safety tips could help us be proactive in preventing an injury or other occurrence.”