Fulton County Schools staff and teachers will be issued the alert badges that enable immediate notifications with a precise location where the button was pushed. (FCS)

Two Sandy Springs schools will serve as test sites for a wearable alert notification system to enable immediate staffing and lockdown alerts in the Fulton County Schools system.

Director of Safety & Security Paul Hildreth presented a recommendation from the district’s safety committee for the Centegix system, also known as “CrisisAlert.”

When a staff member or teacher pushes a button on the CrisisAlert badge, an alert instantly reaches administrators and responders. The alert delivers a precise location and immediate audio and visual incident notifications for campus-wide incidents, with full campus coverage.

The presentation was made at the Nov. 8 FCS board work session, and the one-year, $1.3 million contract was approved at its Nov. 17 regular meeting.

In December, Centegix and FCS will start with a small group of test sites at Riverwood International Charter School, Ridgeview Middle School, Heards Ferry Elementary School and the Administrative Building. The opportunity will help them set up a training system. The remaining schools would be rolled out for installation and training with the goal to go live in February 2023.

Board member Katie Reeves took the opportunity to talk about “low-hanging fruit” for safety and security at some schools.

“I know that I do have some schools where elementary cameras are not installed yet. And I have some schools where I’ve got broken intercom systems, which seems like a very low-tech thing but something that’s important for the schools to have functioning,” she said.

She also had questions about locks on some doors and whether doors are lockable from the inside, especially in older buildings.

Looney said the $6 million the board set aside for safety is being used for other safety expenses, including camera upgrades and intercom issues at individual schools. Many of the intercom systems are outdated, analog systems. Staff is trying to avoid creating standalone systems but instead work out a way to make older systems interact with the new versions until they are replaced.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.