School Communication System Adds Contact Tracing Features

SchoolStatus, which produces a mass notification and communication software-as-a-service platform for schools, has added functionality to enable contact tracing reporting and tracking. According to the company, the new feature follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, to help schools communicate when or if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19.

In the case of a student, for example, the contact tracing report feature could be used to generate a list of the infected person's current schedule, the names of teachers involved, and names and ID numbers of all students who could have also come into contact. The idea is to enable school leaders to communicate to those on the contact tracing report to take precautionary measures. The system also monitors quarantine start and end dates to determine when somebody can return to school.

Communications deployed through SchoolStatus are received as one-to-one messages, enabling families to reply directly and privately with questions and concerns.

All communications are logged and recorded within the application, to maintain an audit trail of outreach activities.

"Having a single place to generate contract tracing reports and track student's COVID-19 quarantine data is critical for our district. During these tough times, every minute of every day counts." Michelle Bivens, superintendent of Pontotoc City School District, in a press release. The district has been using SchoolStatus for "multiple years," Bivens noted.

"We understand that schools will need to frequently communicate with the school community this fall. This communication needs to be more than a general mass message because guardians will have questions and need quick answers," added company CEO, Russ Davis. "We're proud to pair these new contact tracing capabilities with our two-way communication platform to ensure that the families are informed and students are safe and comfortable in their learning environment."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.