Balancing safety
with student privilege

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Visitor management

Westwood Public School implemented a new system where upperclassmen with good academic standing could leave school grounds and enjoy a 1.5-hour lunch break. But they needed a way to manage and track who was leaving the grounds and when they returned. Preferably, this would be a way that empowered the students to be self-managing and accountable for their time off-site.

Westwood Public School implemented a new process for upperclassmen. Allowing those with good academic standing to leave the school grounds during the lunch break. To be able to manage students coming and going they sought an application that could be self-serve and empower the students to be accountable for when they are on and off-site.

Safety and security is a number one priority for Westwood Public Schools. Using WhosOnLocation to manage student movement has empowered the students to be accountable while ensuring they operate a safe and secure school environment for everyone on and off-site.

Key Challenges

Students in the high school are rewarded with a number of privileges. As long as a student is performing well academically, they are allowed anywhere on the campus whenever they have a free block. In 2017, the school decided to extend students’ privileges so they could leave school during the extended lunch break (1.5 hours).

With the extended privileges for senior and junior students, they needed a way to be able to track the students leaving and returning over the lunch break. The solution needed to be able to account for all students should a lockdown or fire drill happens on-site.

The Technology Department was tasked with coming up with a simple way to record students leaving over the lunch break. Any system needed to be:

  • Easy to implement,
  • Customizable,
  • Have good support,
  • Not be labour intensive, and
  • Be easy to use by the Technology Department, Administration Staff and students

Lastly, the final solution needed to be self-service to ensure no additional resources were needed to manage the tracking of students leaving during the lunch break.

About

Westwood Public Schools, is a suburban school located just outside of Boston, MA with a roll of approximately 3200 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Westwood Public Schools is committed to both challenging and supporting all students.

The service and support is absolutely fantastic. The team were able to answer all my question to re-assure me that WhosOnLocation would do what we wanted.

– Steve Ouellette, Head of Technology

 

The WhosOnLocation Solution

With no experience in these types of applications, the school’s Technology Team undertook an internet search and formed a list of possible solutions. The final list had six possible solutions. Each application was assessed and what became clear was that the majority had limitations.

Five options were discounted as the Technology Team assessed them against the criteria, leaving only WhosOnLocation. A decision was made to go with WhosOnLocation as the application was able to be customized to meet the school’s specific needs, as well as providing fantastic support.

Implementation

Implementation was simple, from start to finish WhosOnLocation was up and running in two days (in between other work).

The Technology Team didn’t have a steep learning curve, as it’s a pretty intuitive product. The team had to get up to speed on how to navigating the admin panel and making sure they knew where everything was. The WhosOnLocation Support Team were very helpful with timely responses to questions. The student adoption was straightforward from both a compliance and product ease of use.

Day-to-day use of WhosOnLocation

At 7:00 am each morning WhosOnLocation automatically signs-in all eligible students, thereby making them able to leave during the lunch break. Prior to the lunch break, the Administration Team puts an iPad and touch-screen out for the students to self-serve log-out/in.

Having a self-serve system removes the need to have a paid resource monitoring the students coming and going. If needed, the Administration Team can see in real-time who has left the campus. With 50-60 students on any given day using the software to leave during lunch, the high school administration has found WhosOnLocation to be user-friendly, quick and easy to use.

Since implementing WhosOnLocation we have found it and the data collected to be fast, accurate, and an excellent fit for purpose.

– Steve Ouellette, Head of Technology

Ongoing Maintenance

The school has little ongoing maintenance, which is one of the key reasons they decided on WhosOnLocation. The only real involvement from the Technology Team is the annual updating of the database to remove those students who have graduated and added those who are now of age to leave during the lunch break.

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