Design Zone for Education



Solution to improve communications between teachers, on and off campus staff, data systems, and parents.


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Cisco Notifi-ED Solution Deployment Guide

May 15, 2009

Schools today are expected to provide the highest level of safety and security to their student population as the community has become accustomed to hearing about violence and threats on school grounds-ranging from bomb threats to student shootings. Parents demand that school districts be prepared to respond effectively to such critical emergencies; therefore, it is ever more important for school districts to optimize their communication technologies in preparation for such disasters. As school districts plan to discontinue their legacy analog telephony systems and migrate to IP telephony, they are already looking ahead at what additional applications and network configurations they must add to their network to end up with a communications platform that is scalable, highly-available, automatable, and supports functions including voicemail, paging, bells/alarms, and announcement broadcasting. Whether it is to install IP telephony for the first time on their network or whether it is to evaluate the benefit of an upgrade to their existing system, school districts are first evaluating whether they can leverage their IP telephony network to deliver critical services to faculty and students before making major investments.

The Cisco Notifi-Ed solution for School Safety and Security is a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) that provides school districts with an integrated communications system for rapid mass and audience-specific message broadcasting. The solution demonstrates how the Cisco Unified Communications can be used by Reliance Communication's SchoolMessenger system and Singlewire's InformaCast product to deliver rapid communications to school administrators, teachers, students, and parents through audio, Register for Text Messages (SMS) text, and email and to receive and log acknowledgements from message recipients, a critical function in emergency situations where school districts must be sure that parents have received announcements about the well-being of their children. The Cisco Notifi-Ed can be used to send emergency communication as well as daily operational announcements to the broader community that consists of parents, school district administrators, school faculty, students, and law enforcement.

The following are examples of how the Cisco Notifi-Ed solution can be used in non-emergency and emergency situations to give timely notification to teachers, students, and parents.

  • There is a snow storm and school is cancelled. A recorded phone message and/or SMS is sent to every parent and/or student advising them about the school cancellation. An audible alert is also sent to every IP phone and IP speaker in the school in case students/staff have already arrived, or did not get the message.
  • The principal receives an anonymous phone call with a bomb threat. He sends an audible message and text to every IP phone and every IP speaker in the school, advising everyone to initiate the evacuation plan immediately and that it is a real event and not a drill. Simultaneously, he sends recorded phone messages to all parents asking them to pick up their children immediately due to the bomb threat.
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Solution Author


Jenny Cai
Technical Marketing Engineer


Karen Chan
Data Center Solutions Architect

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