Last week PublicEngines launched TipSoft for Education, a cloud-based product to help schools combat the problems of bullying (including Cyberbullying), drugs, weapons, violence and other offences. In conjunction with that launch, many people attended last week’s webinar highlighting one of our customers, Blount County, TN, called “Five Effective Steps to Solving the Bullying Epidemic.” That Webinar can be found on the PublicEngines’ home page or below.
TipSoft has been the standard for tip-based communications and management for years. And while we already have many education customers using TipSoft , we thought it was important to launch TipSoft for Education specifically for the K-12 education market. This is because we’ve witnessed four important trends recently that we know are affecting the K-12 environment.
Four Trends Affecting K-12 Education
1) State Mandates – Especially in light of the rash of bullying incidents, almost all states now have anti-bullying legislation, and many require schools to have a solution in place that allows students to report issues of bullying and harassment. In fact, 49 states have passed new or newly amended anti-bullying legislation. This increased requirement has become a burden on schools that TipSoft can fulfill.
2) Accountability – Schools today are facing an increasing demand for accountability in addressing incidents when bullying occurs or when students bring drugs or weapons into the schools. TipSoft provides a robust incident management application to show that information has been collected, disseminated, and an ability to report that information back out. So, with TipSoft, schools can accurately log and show what they have done when an incident occurs.
3) Increase of Funding Tied to Attendance – Many states have now tied the allocation of federal funds to average daily attendance (ADA). When students miss school, it costs the schools between $20-$50 per day they are absent. With more than 160,000 students skipping schools each day because of fear of bullying, have a solution that can literally pay for itself in allowing schools to hold on to precious federal funding is essential.
4) The Need for Alerting – The recent shooting tragedies in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and Lone Star College in Texas have shown that when a shooting occurs, there is a gap in the ability to effectively warn those at the school, as well as parents and community members of the incident in providing them with safety instructions and updates. In the case of the Lone Star College incident, an alert was posted on the college’s Website instructing students and faculty to take cover. We view this as inadequate for schools. TipSoft Alerts, which has the ability to broadcast text messages to subscriber’s phones, is a much more effective and immediate solution that delivers information right to users’ phones.
Because of these requirements, we think TipSoft is the ideal application to help schools combat the issues of bullying, cyberbullying, violence, weapons and drugs in schools. One of the things we are most proud of is the number of suicides that have been prevented in schools, as highlighted in last week’s presentation. One of our customers, Safe2Tell, has recently recorded a milestone of more that 1,000 suicides interventions, which originated from information coming into TipSoft. TipSoft is a proven application and is run by more than 1,000 organizations, including police forces, the US Navy and Air Force, and many universities.
Part of that success comes from the ubiquity of the application for users—students can submit information from a mobile app, the Web, or by text, as well as ease of administrators in using the cloud-based application, along with the unique ability of schools being able to forward and share information with local law enforcement. Those features have made TipSoft the number one application for law enforcement for years, and we expect it will have the same level of impact for K-12 education as well.