As schools and universities start to reopen this late summer and in the fall, there are some things we know, and much more that we don’t.
Most schools in America closed early, long before they intended to, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have already made the choice to remain closed until early 2021. Others are opening completely.
Still others are taking a hybrid approach: Opening to students and faculty for half of the week and scheduling online or distance learning for the rest of the week. Some schools are keeping the students at a distance, but requiring their faculty report to work every day. It’s a confusing mess.
Whatever your school or district decides to do as we approach back-to-school season, a solid communications strategy will help keep everyone informed and enable you to change plans quickly with as little confusion as possible..
Some background: Many, if not all, school districts have adopted some type of notification system to help schools inform campuses and communities about everything from general announcements to mass shootings and other violence. Regroup has been at the forefront of this technology since it started being the norm.
Danger at schools is too common, but now the risks associated with the pandemic and schools’ need to mitigate them are universal. Schools that don’t have a true mass notification platform in place can no longer push off the need.
All university students, all parents of school-aged children, and all faculty and staff members from preschool through universities are going to have to stay nimble, and informed. Especially informed. Everyone involved needs to know what the protocol is for their school, and if (or when) plans change, how to respond: Masks? Online learning? Building closed? Lunchrooms? Class quarantine? There will be so much to stay updated on as this school year unfolds.
There’s a way to do this right.
Regroup Mass Notification works with its K-12 and university clients to provide emergency and day-to-day communications to all of their community members: Faculty, staff, students and parents or guardians. Messages can be received with ease on any device, including via SMS/text, phone call, email, push notifications and even displayed on digital signage throughout school properties.
Regroup’s system offers unlimited administrators and flexible account configuration, which also means the system can be used by anyone to reach the audiences they’re authorized to send to. Teachers can easily send fast updates to K-12 parents of students in their classes just as easily as district or university administrators can message everyone in a school community about updated government restrictions or new policies for attending school safely.
Another tool we’ve added to the platform is Regroup’s new COVID-19 Map Layers. This situational awareness map overlays data about the virus’ spread on top of school locations stored in each client’s account, enabling administrators to visualize where hotspots may be spreading and respond proactively rather than waiting for the virus to impact its locations. Unlike many leading competitors in the mass notification space, Regroup has included this tool within its platform for no additional charge.
Several examples of how mass communications can help your schools, institutions or school district:
Every Day Communication
- Information about changes in schedules
- Emails regarding assignments and missed assignments
- Links to online learning environments and instructions
- Changes in bus or public transport information
- Newsletters keeping the whole community informed
- Digital signage in school reminding students to wash hands and maintain distancing
- Enable students and staff to report to administrators if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19
- Send last-minute text messages if class needs to be cancelled or a certain group should self-quarantine
- Coordinate cleaning or other responses if there is an infection or outbreak at the school
- Changes in schedules during the pandemic
- Safety information in case of weather emergencies
- Instructions on where students or parents can get tested for the virus
- Use COVID-19 map layers to identify potential outbreak areas and take proactive steps to keep students safe
Regroup Supports Our Schools
For the remainder of 2020, every new education client that signs on for 2021, will get the rest of this year added to their contract for free. We know these are difficult times; Regroup is prepared and ready to support our educational institutions with the mass communication tools that can make a difference. To take advantage of this offer, schedule a demo of our platform today.