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Saved by the Bell - Large California School District Implements InformaCast

One of California’s largest school districts chose an IP telecom system to boost its schools’ safety, but discovered many other benefits.

Appearing in EdTech K-12

Story by Julie Sturgeon, Photo by Max S Gerber

As principal at Chaparral High School, Lucia Washburn no longer dreads lockdowns.

Each year, the Grossmont Union High School District requires each facility to conduct two such emergency drills. Officials sound a special alarm, and students must get to the nearest room that has a door or that locks. Teachers practice keeping students safe in that secure space, and the El Cajon police officers check every room to make sure the campus is secure. The entire process lasts an average of 10 minutes — but for Washburn, it was 10 minutes of frustration because her building had no public address system. Instead, she communicated with teachers over telephone speakers.

“If the class was a bit loud, they couldn’t hear anything,” she notes.

In the fall of 2005, Jack Blaylock, director of technical serv­ices at this San Diego, Calif.-area district, selected Chaparral to investigate a new IP telecom system under consideration. Singlewire (formerly Berbee) billed its InformaCast product as a robust, full-featured system that allows users to simultaneously push an audio stream and/or a text message to multiple Internet Protocol phones and speakers. The Madison, Wis., manufacturer originally built the system for the Department of Commerce after personnel there found themselves banging on doors on 9/11 in an effort to evacuate a building without loudspeakers.

Of course, Blaylock wasn’t willing to invest in new switches, speakers and software for one building; he had a bigger challenge on his hands. The 19 campuses in this high school district handed him a mixed bag of four or five different notification systems. “Some of it, I don’t know if there’s a brand name on it because it goes back 50 years [to] when the school was built,” he says.

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Topics: Case Studies, School Bell Software

Emergency Notification with Singlewire Software

With InformaCast, notifications can be triggered in a variety of ways depending on the needs of your organization; By systems or devices that require immediate action, by pushing a panic button located in a room or at a workstation, or by the simple action of someone dialing 911. When an event takes place, the appropriate message can be sent automatically to the right people or groups within your organization so that action can be taken.

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Topics: emergency communication, Emergency Notification

Mass Notification Software for Campus Safety: Columbia College

Columbia College uses InformaCast for sending campus-wide mass notifications andcolumbia college overhead pages when the school needs to close their campus.

Singlewire Software, developer of innovative voice applications centered around secure, fast, and reliable mass notification, emergency communication, and overhead paging, today announced the release and publication of the case study, “Columbia College: Quick, Reliable, and Efficient Campus-wide Notification.”

The case study features Columbia College, part of the Yosemite Community College District in Sonora, California. Columbia College uses Singlewire InformaCast, along with a network of 300 IP phones deployed across their campus, to send mass notification messages when they need to close the campus for safety during snow storms or power outages.

Brad Parkel, director of marketing at Singlewire Software comments, “Columbia College uses InformaCast in a very innovative way. They have designed their network in a way that allows notification to be sent to classrooms after the loss of power.”

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Topics: campus emergency, Case Studies, Press Release

Cisco Case Study - Los Alamitos Unified School District

The Los Alamitos Unified School District integrates paging, bells, alarms, text alert messages along with simultaneous broadcast of audio and text to IP phones, IP speakers, desktops, overhead paging systems and much more with Singlewire InformaCast, Cisco, and SchoolMessenger.

Located in the heart of Orange County, California, Los Alamitos Unified School District (LAUSD) has always believed in high standards for its staff, faculty, administrators, and students. District officials rely heavily on collaboration and communication tools to generate quality education and growth potential opportunities to meet the needs of its students. In particular, LAUSD strives to build partnerships with the leading technology providers to supply the support and resources needed for its students to achieve academic excellence and develop unique talents in preparation for their future goals.

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Topics: Case Studies, emergency communication, mass notification, K-12

Singlewire Releases CallAware 2.0 for InformaCast

emergency communicationThe latest version of Singlewire CallAwareTM detects when a number has been dialed, for example 911, and alerts a pre-defined group of recipients via a text and audio InformaCast broadcast. It also gives them the ability to review a real-time audio recording of the call.

Singlewire Software (, developer of network-centric notification software for overhead paging, mass notification, and emergency communication, today announced the launch of Singlewire CallAware 2.0 for monitoring numbers dialed and call recording.

As a way of further expanding the functionality of InformaCast for notification, CallAware monitors and recognizes numbers dialed within an organization, including 911, and triggers an InformaCast alert message. This vital, real-time notification can immediately be sent to groups of people within the organization who need to know, like staff first responders and building managers. Notification can include a short text and audio description of the caller’s location in addition to a recording of the emergency call. Meanwhile, the call continues to local public safety officials without delay or interruption.

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Topics: Press Release, InformaCast, emergency communication, CallAware

Singlewire Software

Singlewire Software develops and supports innovative voice applications centered around secure, fast, and reliable mass notification capabilities. More →

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