Seton Catholic Preparatory High School recently added a high-tech alert system that furthers communication between first responders and school administration in the event of a crisis

Seton is the first school in Arizona to install Sielox’s Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System (CLASS) onto its campus to help indicate exactly where and what is happening when a serious safety problem arises.

“Seton Catholic has consistently demonstrated a commitment to safeguarding their students and teachers with a variety of security measures,” said Michael Baum, business development manager at Technical Systems, Inc., headquartered in Gilbert and Sielox CLASS local integration partner, in a statement. “Sielox CLASS exponentially enhances Seton’s crisis communications. The system pinpoints where the danger is in your school and provides local law enforcement and emergency responders with critical information to respond in a safe and timely manner.”

In addition to adding the new crisis alert system, Seton also hired Jack Barten, a full-time security officer for the school.

Barten, a retired Chandler Police Department sergeant, worked with the Chandler department for the past 31 years, during which he served in different capacities such as SWAT, patrol, criminal investigations and community services.

Teachers and administrators were trained on the system before the end of the previous school year. The system is connected teachers’ computers and its accessibility is simple; in an event of a crisis, teachers use the system to indicate how serious or minimal the crisis is by selecting a color for their room.

Each issue has its own distinct color such as green for safe and secure, lime-green for unaccounted individual, blue for a medical problem, orange for a room disturbance and red for crisis.

Every classroom is shown throughout the security system, so Barten can see what’s happening throughout the school in the security room, where he has four monitors that map out the entire campus.

Once a crisis is indicated, Barten is notified within seconds via text message or by seeing a classroom has changed from green to another color.

Teachers and administrators also receive a text massage alerting them that there’s a crisis on the school grounds.

“This is just a tool to help the schools themselves to help improve on the existing security plans they have,” Barten said. “I’ve been here a short time, but what I can see here at Seton is they’re trying to be on the forefront of the technology side of security. It’s a tool to add to the system to help keep the kids, visitors and faculty safe.”

Julie Grindey, dean of students, said the school was initially approached by Technical System Inc. about implementing CLASS to Seton.

“We’ve been working with them for several years; they do our cameras and all of our electronic systems,” she said. “It was a great opportunity and we absolutely said yes.”

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