School integrates time, announcements, alerts and warnings across building systems using intuitive, informative displays
Northlake Quick Facts
Location: Covington, Louisiana
Total Enrollment: About 800 students
Mission: Northlake Christian School is a private, non-denominational, non-profit school that exists to assist the community in providing an environment in which the Christian faith can be integrated with learning to offer a high-quality education from preschool through twelfth grade.
Type of project: Synchronized clock, bell, communication, and emergency alert system extension.
American Time Solution: EverAlert Emergency Notification System
Northlake was in the process of constructing a new middle school for grades 5-8 and was searching for a clock and bell system to serve new extensions of the existing campus. The school was weighing whether to expand the use of its current technology or to look into more modern options.
At the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference, the world’s largest educational technology event, Mike Adams of the technology department at Northlake Christian School came across American Time’s EverAlert Emergency Notification System.
“I saw a demo at ISTE and liked the fact that the time display could link with other school systems, such as our fire alarm system, and that we could send out announcements through it,” said Adams. “We also had a presentation at our school for our administration, and EverAlert was very well received.”
EverAlert is a flexible, cloud-based communication platform that integrates with and supports a school’s existing safety and security systems. It deploys synchronized time, visual and audio emergency alerts, digital messaging and audible tones. Displays are easy to install with wired Ethernet or wireless connectivity, and the cloud-based service ensures that the latest features are automatically updated across every unit.
Instant visual messages, accompanied by audible signals, help schools communicate a more effective response to safety and security alerts. For instance, alarms triggered by existing emergency systems are instantly displayed in all classrooms, with e-mail and/or text message notifications to authorized users; fire, security and weather alerts can be configured with additional critical information such as exit instructions, when every minute counts; severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service are configured by county.
“We were one of the first schools to use EverAlert when it came on the market, but we wanted to make the investment early because it really resolved our problems of integrating a time panel, announcements and other building systems,” said Adams.
Northlake now has 20 EverAlert displays throughout its middle school. EverAlert is integrated with existing school systems, including those for bells and emergency alerts for fire, severe weather and lockdown alarms. “The weather announcements are automatic,” explained Adams. “It’s based on the weather alerts for our area, and a small banner appears at the bottom of the display to notify us of watches or warnings. The panels were installed in the spring and received positive feedback from the teachers and students. Northlake chose the EverAlert wireless display option, which allows the panels to be placed in any location that has 110 VAC power and a Wi-Fi network signal. This makes it especially easy and efficient to move or add a panel, such as when Northlake added a new classroom over the summer. “It was so easy because we could just hang it anywhere,” said Adams.
As one of the first schools in the country to leverage EverAlert, Northlake also provided feedback on the technology. “Working with the American Time team has been great and tech support has been amazing and responsive,” noted Adams. “They’ve been able to solve our problems and make EverAlert do what we need it to do for classes and scheduling.”