Lindbergh Schools Board of Education considers Centegix safety badge alert system

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An example of a Centegix badge.

By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

The Lindbergh Schools Board of Education is considering the implementation of a new safety alert system that would provide instant notification within a school building in case of emergency.

At the Jan. 19 board meeting, the board reviewed the Centegix CrisisAlert system, which utilize badges worn by building staff with a single alert button that can be used in the case of medical emergencies, student safety issues or building-wide threats. The system is designed to provide immediate notification about what type of emergency it is and the location of the emergency to the appropriate responding groups.   

“Our students and staff have never been safer but there are always layers we can add,” Executive Director of Secondary Education Ronnie Zagora said, touching on continued concerns about safety. “Some of the barriers are not having quick access to communication … and delays in getting help or elsewhere.”

There are two different types of “alerts.”  A “staff alert”, or three-press alert, is when the button is pressed three times in a row and is used for medical emergencies and for the prevention and intervention of student altercations.

There is also a “campus” alert for school intruders or active shooter situations. In that scenario, the button would be pressed repeatedly. This alert would immediately notify the local safety team, district staff and local enforcement of the situation.

The system also gives staff the ability to remotely broadcast emergency codes to the entire student body on and off campus.

Staff has been considering the implementation of the Centegix system since fall 2022, including demonstrations with the company and district administration, teachers, law enforcement and other school staff.

“The feedback from everybody that was part of this review process was very positive,” Zagora said. “This answered a lot of questions that we get from staff that are ‘what ifs.’”

The alert system requires no advanced training for substitute or temporary staff. The badge also does not track staff members throughout the day; it only geolocates a staff member’s location when that staff member presses the button.

“The badge is small, it’s simple. It’s very easy to use,” Zagora said. “It doesn’t require a lot of training to use.”

The board will formally vote on whether or not to implement the system at its February meeting. Pending board approval, the system is expected to launch at the start of the 2023-2024 school year after necessary technology integration and onboarding and training.

“Just that immediate response … we just see it as just another layer to how we can improve safety in our buildings for those everyday kinds of things that happen, as well as that horrific thing — not that that would ever happen in any of our schools — as well,” Superintendent Tony Lake said.