May 30, 2018

Utilize Technology for Safer Schools

By Ally Jones

Based on the article by Aaron Vanatta, “Improving School Safety with Real-Time Communication Tools.” Read the full article on Upshot.

A 21st-Century Solution

For Aaron Vanatta, SRO at Quaker Valley School District, creating safer schools means utilizing technology to prepare for every type of emergency that has the potential to affect your district. He knew that NaviGate Prepared was the 21st-century solution that he needed in order to transfer bulky binders full of emergency response plans to a digital environment – allowing his district to be more organized and safe.

In addition to a digital library of information, utilizing technology as a part of your schools’ safety measures creates the potential to practice more effective drills. Aaron Vanatta notes that communication is a “critical pillar” in school safety making it vital to include everyone in communication during drills and emergencies. He states, “With NaviGate Prepared’s Respond app, everyone could communicate during an emergency. The faculty loved that they were now in the loop. Instantly, they felt empowered. They knew in a real emergency they’d have a resource in their pocket that could help save lives. Gone were the days of only a couple of people relaying information. NaviGate Prepared gave the power to everyone. Real-time collaboration across the district, as well as school response coordination, improved tremendously.”

Empowering Everyone Involved

The information provided through real-time communication empowers staff to be proactive in emergencies which goes a long way in keeping schools safe. Staff members are able to take matters into their own hands and communicate information about what is happening – allowing a staff member on the other side of the building to know exactly what is going on and act accordingly.

By utilizing real-time communication with Respond, Aaron states that Quaker Valley has “improved our communication and cut down on response times, which are two critical pieces of safety.” His staff has been able to build confidence in their ability to handle emergency situations and develop muscle memory that allows them to respond to any situation without thinking twice.

How are you utilizing 21st-century solutions to improve school safety?

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Chad Leggett

Besides the use of NaviGate we also utilize scan badges, door buzzer entries, and video cameras.

NaviGate is fantastic and works well with incorporating technology into the way everything works. In addition to what Chad says, we are also looking at district-wide Remind accounts for parent communication and utilize One Call Now currently for our phone systems.

Navigate integrates well into all our technology throughout the district using g multiple platforms from cell phones to laptops depending on if you need to access flipcharts & respond to filling out binders and floor plans.

With a constant evolution of technology in the education system, navigate adapts well to each individual environment and need.

Melvin Wright

We have used Navigate for several years now. We are constantly impressed by their cutting edge in identifying problems and offering solutions to potential problems. They also gather information from various clients and share successes online so that other Navigate users can benefit.

Eric Hall

Navigate is a great use of technology.

Amy Lupinski

NaviGate seems to be a great technological tool for school safety and I cannot wait to get started!

NaviGate is changing the way we look at safety and security. We feel more confident and always have support and resources to help us improve.

Jason G

We utilize door buzzers, badges for building access, cameras at facilities, and will soon be using mobile devices for drill completion.

We are just starting out with Navigate, but I am excited about us moving this direction with technology and communication!

We have been a Navigate user for many years now. We keep updating and adding security features from Navigate as them come online. We like having a centralized system that keeps us organized and on top of security drills, references, safety plans and more. We include our hardware technology like security cameras, intercoms, electronic door locks, and phone PA with our Navigate software.

We are now installing a double set of security doors that will operate on a badge ID system. There is also a security system of cameras that are networked and can be viewed from a smartphone via an app.

Shannon Myers

Using a platform like navigate prepared takes a layer of stress off the process. This platform makes it easier to account for the safety of everyone involved!


We are able to communicate much faster. We are suppose to carry our cellphones with us.

Julie Hermes

School Gate Guardian for parent visitors and volunteers


We have swipe cards to enter the building, identification card programs for visitors and volunteers, and cameras in the hallways and outside of the building