North Carolina District First in the Country to Pilot New Student Safety App

North Carolina District First in the Country to Pilot New Student Safety App

Buncombe County Schools will be the first school district in the U.S. to test a new student safety app designed to help school officials more effectively help students with health or behavioral needs.

Buncombe County Schools will be the first school district in the U.S. to test a new app for student safety app. The Vitals App was created to help school officials better and more effectively respond to crisis incidents involving students who have health or behavioral needs.

Students enrolled in the Vitals App will carry a beacon that will automatically transmit their important health information to key staff members in the school.

The pilot program is funded by the Buncombe County Schools Foundation. According to the foundation’s director, Lisa Adkins, the app could help increase the safety of some of the district’s most vulnerable students.

“The users of the app are chosen providers and they can be a school resource officer, a school nurse, a coach, a principal or assistant principal.  When they get within 80 feet of the student, the information will literally pop up from a secure cloud onto their phone,“ Adkins said.  “So it will say, ‘This is so and so student, they are autistic, these are de-escalation techniques you could use, these are some issues they have.’ That information is available as long as they are within an 80-foot radius.”

According to Vitals President and CEO Janeé Harteau, the app is free for students and officials using the app service will pay a subscription fee monthly. Harteau said the information is stored on a secure cloud and is deleted once the users leave the 80-foot radius of the student.

Police departments in other states are already using the Vitals App, but this is the first time it will be tested in a school setting.

The pilot program, which will last a year, will be rolled out next fall at T.C. Roberson and A.C. Reynolds High Schools. If it’s successful, Lisa Adkins said, it may be rolled out throughout the entire district.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.