The Missing Piece in Bullying Prevention


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bulliedstudent-copyBlog by Jade Isom

October is Bullying Prevention Month and while we all know that bullying is often an issue in schools, we continue to struggle with both prevention and intervention.  We see extreme consequences of bullying covered in the media but this leads many people to believe that bullying is not harmful unless it is severe.  This could not be further from the truth.  Bullying, at any level, often results in short and long-term effects, both psychological and physical.  Bullied children are more likely to suffer from psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.  They are also likely to experience headaches, sleep loss and stomach pain due to stress.

Prevention programs are implemented in many schools and students are told that there is a zero-tolerance policy in regards to bullying.  However, not all cases of bullying are reported.  In fact, most are not.  Spreading awareness is not the most important factor in bullying prevention.  Something is missing.

Administrators, teachers and school staff are trained in how to recognize bullying and report it to their supervisors.  While this is necessary and very important, a student is much less likely to commit an act of bullying in front of a teacher than in front of other students.  The missing piece to bullying prevention is an anonymous reporting system.  Let’s be honest; sometimes it can be difficult to stand up to someone that is doing something wrong.  This is especially hard for a child or adolescent.  Anonymous reporting allows a person to report a wrongdoing without putting themselves at risk.  Students are much more likely to report acts of bullying if they can do so without revealing their identity.   To make reporting even more discreet, students and staff can send anonymous tips from their smartphones directly to Administrators.

An effective reporting system is important in acknowledging bullying as an issue and reducing the number of occurrences.   Many parents might look at a high number of bully reports as a deterrent in determining which school their child attends.  However, a high number of reported bullying is evidence that the administrators in that school are working toward recording and reducing the problem.

School districts have addressed the bullying epidemic and created programs to spread awareness.  However, many of them are lacking a significant aspect to bullying prevention and response – an anonymous reporting system that can be used by staff, students and parents.  In order to proactively reduce bullying, it needs to be acknowledged.  A reporting system will give everyone a voice in reducing the number of bullying occurrences.

For more information on sending anonymous tips using your mobile device, contact CrisisGo at 314-669-9022 or email

This Is Only A Drill …Until It’s Not


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A Look at Active Shooter Response

By: Jade Lish

Charleston, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Roseburg, OR; Colorado Springs, CO; San Bernadino; CA; Orlando, FL. The terrifying truth is that an act of mass violence can happen anywhere.  As horrific mass shootings are spoken about in the news and in the community, you may have heard talk of different responses to an active shooter situation, including Lockdown, A.L.I.C.E, and Run Hide Fight.

As schools and organizations prepare staff and students for the worst, there are multiple procedures to consider.  The traditional active shooter response is to Lockdown.

Lockdown Active Shooter Response:

  • A lockdown is a precautionary measure in response to a threat directly to the school or in the surrounding community.
  • All school activities are moved indoors.
  • No one is allowed to enter or exit the building.
  • Move people away from the windows and doors. Keep all students sitting on the floor, and turn off the lights.

Another procedure goes by the acronym A.L.I.C.E.  ALICE active shooter protocol questions the traditional “Lockdown-Only” response to an active shooter event and emphasizes the need for a pro-active options-based strategy.

A.L.I.C.E. Active Shooter Response:

  • ALERT:  Use plain and specific language.  Avoid code words.
  • LOCKDOWN:  Barricade the room.  Silence mobile devices.  Prepare to Evacuate or Counter if needed.
  • INFORM:  Communicate the shooter’s location in real time.
  • COUNTER:  Create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately.
  • EVACUATE:  When safe to do so, remove yourself from the danger zone.

Run Hide Fight is another common approach.  This response has a tier system where the ideal situation would allow you to safely escape.  If unable to run, the next best option would be to hide from the intruder.  As a last resort and only if your life is in danger, you can attempt to fight against the shooter.

Run Hide Fight Active Shooter Response:

  • RUN:  Have an escape route and plan in mind.  Leave your belongings behind.  Keep your hands visible.
  • HIDE:  Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view.  Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.  Silence your cell phone and/or pager.
  • FIGHT:  As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.  Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.  Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.

It is vital that faculty, staff and students be prepared to deal with a potential active shooter situation.  For this reason, thousands of organizations are making active shooter response training a top priority.

Although you cannot predict an active shooter crisis, you can prepare.  In a crisis situation, every second counts.  An well-practiced plan and effective communication during a crisis are key.

If you are considering an active shooter drill for your school district or organization, consider the different responses and what is best for your organization.  Multiple K-12 school districts have practiced their chosen active shooter response using CrisisGo to alert and communicate during the drill.

For information about using the CrisisGo app during an active shooter response drill, please visit our website.

Have you Scheduled an Active Shooter Drill?


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By: Jade Lish

The new school year has started.  The hallways are buzzing with the sound of students and teachers getting back into the groove of busy class schedules. As you watch students move from classroom to classroom, each period’s lesson carefully planned, you can’t help but feel a sense of organization in what could easily be chaos.  Safety, both inside and outside the walls of a school building, also requires careful organization and planning.

Safety drills are necessary to emergency and disaster preparedness.  As school is back in session, you likely have multiple drills scheduled throughout the year.  Simulating a real crisis event is necessary to polish your emergency plans and procedures.  Working through the process of an event will help you fine-tune the steps needed to remain safe before and during a crisis.

The most common emergency drills that are run during a school year are for fire evacuations and lockdowns.  With recent mass-violence tragedies occurring worldwide, consider adding an active shooter drill to help your staff prepare for the unthinkable.  There is no better way to refine your emergency plans than by putting them to the test.  School districts across the United States are participating in police-directed active shooter drills.  Involving your local police department allows not only school administration and staff to practice, but also emergency responders.  An active shooter drill is a perfect demonstration of safety through teamwork.

The CrisisGo app can be used to notify faculty and staff of a building lockdown and as a communication tool during a drill or a real crisis.  Administrators and teachers can follow emergency checklists steps in the app and use the roster feature to ensure that all students are accounted for.

For more information or assistance using CrisisGo to run drills with your students and staff, please reach out to our team at or 314-669-9022

Duty to Warn


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By Jim Spicuzza, Founder of CrisisGo

Providing fast, timely alerts to people at the time of an emergency is vital so they can take action to protect themselves and others.

Most people think about alerts when they talk about a shooter in the building, but alerts can save lives in many other serious situations.

  • A child missing from the school bus drop off
  • A co-worker collapsed and not breathing
  • A tornado, flood or other severe weather event

Taking action quickly in all of these situations can ensure the safety of many people, and in some cases, can mean the difference between life and death.  An emergency alert can help a worried parent learn that their child is playing at the park, find the right person to perform CPR on that co-worker, or give people the necessary time to move to a safe location in a weather emergency.

The release of CrisisGo 4.2 expands on the already strong emergency notification system by adding redundant alert tools.   These tools include SMS and Email alerts which act as backup for our audible alert siren system and allow everyone the opportunity to get the warning.

This new release is just part of the CrisisGo commitment to helping you and your organization act quickly on your duty to warning staff and stakeholders of emergency situations.

For more information about CrisisGo, please contact us at or call us at 1-314-669-9022.



Smart Phone Apps Connect Parents to School Safety


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Written by Jade Lish

While schools aim to keep parents and guardians involved in school safety, they often do not know how this can be achieved.  The key to keeping parents engaged is to provide them with a tool that is easily accessible and user-friendly.  By giving parents a tool that keeps them in the loop, you give them a role in the school safety network as well as the safety of their own children.

The frequency of school violence and mass shootings is on the rise and so are the concerns of parents and guardians.  The decision to send your child back to school following a threat of violence is a tough one.  Parents are now very interested in what is being done to keep their children safe at school.  This is good, because the more hands involved in school safety, the better.  So, what better way is there to engage parents in school safety than with a smartphone app right in their hands?

Smartphone technology allows people to connect in a way that was never possible before.  Parents are able to have real time two-way communication, send in anonymous tips that they learn from their child or other adults, and submit information back to the district when they are looking for answers concerning an incident that has happened at the school today. Technology keeps us in the loop about the lives of those we love as well as what is happening in the world around us.  We should be as connected to safety as we are to the news of more violence.

With the right safety app, parents and guardians will become active participants in keeping schools safe.  Parents can also create Family Circle groups when they are not under the school safety net. This allows them to stay connected and receive panic alerts when a loved one is in danger. A mobile safety app is the best way to engage parents in the school safety network.  If you would like to learn more about the CrisisGo app for school districts, parents and students, please contact us at

Be a Winner in Emergency Response


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Sports Header_Website

By guest blogger Jim Spicuzza, CrisisGo CEO

Emergency response has shot to the limelight of American news due to the catastrophic incidents that have plagued the US in the last 10 years. In 2012, there were 80 incidents of armed violence in the United States. That equates to an incident every 5 days. The question remains “What will you and your staff do for the first 2-20 minutes before law enforcement arrive if you have an incident at your organization?”

What may come as a surprise to some is that emergency response and the world of sports share similar requirements. They both require three basic things: Speed, Communication and Practice. Yet, most organizations will not acknowledge these basic fundamentals, just as unsuccessful athletes think they can do it their own way.

Good communication during an emergency helps us coordinate, pivot and take advantage of opportunities, again just like in sports. Without excellent communication in an emergency, responders are unable to coordinate. With good coordination, responders have the ability to move people to safety, inform other first responders of the situation they will face when they arrive, and even prevent situations from arising when individuals use the safety motto, “see something, say something.”

Emergency response speed and communication require practice. Most people in organizations think that they do not have time for practice; it takes time away from their jobs. Rick Rescorla was a stickler for emergency preparedness and forced Morgan Stanley’s 2,800 employees to practice emergency response drills prior to 9/11. Now he will go down in history as a true American hero as he moved all but 14 employees to safety during the collapse of the twin towers.

Not every emergency requires great speed or fantastic communication.  However, if you have not practiced being fast, or practiced emergency response communication, you face the possibility of failure when a serious or life-threatening event does happen.  If our sports teams never practiced with vigor, why would we expect them to succeed?

At CrisisGo, we look to make your organization faster at responding to an emergency using a mobile emergency response system. Let us show you how we are changing the way organizations respond to a crisis.

For more information about CrisisGo, please contact us at or call us at 1-314-669-9022.

Spotlight on Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) and CrisisGo Partnership


CrisisGo LogoResized

During the month of March, 2016, CrisisGo would like to highlight its partnership with MASA so the public can learn more about the important role MASA plays in the state of Minnesota. CrisisGo and MASA have partnered with one another to help transform Minnesota’s districts emergency response plans by taking them out of their three-ring binder and placing them into the mobile devices of all first responders and teachers.  MASA serves over 600 active educational administrators and 250 retired school administrators.  Their mission is to establish the statewide agenda for children, serve as the preeminent voice for public education, and empower members through quality services and support.

MASA recognizes the value of CrisisGo by empowering those whose job it is to care for others.  By placing vital information such as emergency checklists, alerts, notifications, evacuation maps, and student rosters, first responders and staff can take a proactive approach to handling any type of emergency that might occur.


For more information about CrisisGo, please visit:
For more information about MASA, please visit:

Are You Prepared?


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excel shooting

by Rebecca Renshaw

A shooting rampage last week in Kansas is sparking questions about personal safety. As we all know, this act that left four dead, including the gunman, is not the first.  Last week’s shooting came on the heels of a mass shooting in Kalamazoo,Michigan where an Uber driver killed six and injured two in a terrifying shooting spree.

As an administrator and teacher, you must be worried about the possibility of something like this happening at your school. In Oregon a few months ago, we heard about students who were on the campus of Umpqua Community College and learned several were completely unaware of what to do in an active shooter situation. Each one recounted that they were left in the dark with no communication whatsoever. With an epidemic of mass shootings in this country at workplaces, colleges, and k12 districts, it is vital to have access to a clear plan and to be sure all staff AND all students are aware of what they need to do if something like this happened.

We believe active shooter drills using mobile technology is the answer to effectively prepare ALL teachers and students on what to do during an emergency. With the right mobile emergency app, all district teachers, staff and administrators have their personal emergency response plans on their smartphones or tablets.  Those plans are in checklist formats that allow personnel to quickly move through the steps to get to safety – or help others get to safety.

As personnel accomplish each step, they simply touch their screens to document what they’ve done.  When they are finished, they touch their screens to submit the completed checklists to a reporting console for safety teams to review.

They don’t have to actually do the checklist steps to run the drill.  Sitting at their desks, all of your personnel can read review their checklist steps and verify that they’ve read them through the reporting console that records all activity. They can also communicate during the drill using the options of text, voice, and video.

However it gets accomplished, there needs to be an effective system in place which lets students, administrators and teachers know exactly what to do in an emergency and give them a way to communicate. This horrific “new normal” of shootings has gone on too long to still be unsure about how to help people survive such attacks. This kind of violence can happen to any of us at any time, and we need to start being prepared and proactive when it does happen using the very tool that we ALWAYS keep by our sides – our mobile device.

CrisisGo’s February Newsletter

Using Mobile Technology for Student Reunification

Written by Rebecca Renshaw

In our journey of delivering a mobile emergency response app to the k12 industry, the CrisisGo team has met many inspiring individuals who have had their lives redefined by tragedy or adversity.

One of those individuals is Michele Gay, co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools; a Sandy Hook Initiative.  Michele’s quest, since the horrific loss of her daughter Josephine during the Sandy Hook tragedy, is to search for tools, techniques, and technologies that will prevent the same type of event from ever recurring.  One of her most painful recollections of that day was the confusion that surrounded the reunification process.

Another parent, Alissa Parker, whose daughter Emilie was also killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, explained the confusion at Sandy Hook:
“We were told by three different people to look for our daughter at three different places. The chaos made it so much worse for all of us.”

Being prepared for a crisis is only one aspect of total emergency planning.  Knowing what to do in the aftermath and how to reunify students with their parents is a second critical component.

In the wake of a major crisis such as a kidnapping, shooting incident, inclement weather, or chemical spill, school administrators must calmly provide timely reunification of students with their parents. This is no easy task as it may be done in chaotic conditions that are highly charged with stress and emotion.  Reuniting frightened, crying students with equally fearful parents is not something that can be properly done without forethought. Student reunification requires systematic, logistical preparedness and practice done far in advance.

In the past, there has only been a clipboard with a list of actions for each responsible party to complete.  Actions and decisions take place in silos, with no transparency. No one on the reunification team knows who has been released to parents, if the parents were authorized, or where certain children are in transit to the reunification site.

But, what would the reunification process look like if it were accomplished using a mobile application? Certainly, it would look far different than it looks like using paper, pen, and a clipboard.

Authorized persons in the process would have on their phones their specific reunification roles along with the updated daily rosters of the students for each building.  The mobile app would contain the list of all authorized parents or guardians associated with each child.  Moving through each stage of the reunification process, the mobile app checks students in and out of each stage while maintaining accuracy and complete visibility of the process with date and time stamps. A portal also shows the progress of the reunification going on at multiple sites simultaneously.

If you have an interest in learning more about how mobile technology can transform student reunification by providing two-way communication channels, rosters, reunification maps, and a systematic process, please connect with us at or 314-669-9022.


Employee Spotlight: 

Angela Morber, Implementation Manager

Angela Morber with her dog, Pablo

February’s employee spotlight is on Angela Morber, who has been with CrisisGo for one year.  If you have had any contact with Angela, you will agree that she is one of the most pleasant, upbeat individuals on the planet. You will always see a smile on her face and, if you are on the phone with her, you will still hear the smile in her voice.

When asked what her daily tasks are at CrisisGo, Angela explains, “I help onboard new customers by putting their emergency plans into the app, which includes things like maps and users.  I also spend a lot of time following up with customers  and making sure they are moving forward in the implementation process.”

Angela says she absolutely loves her job and it feels great to be a part of a team environment here at CrisisGo.  “I think what I love most about it is I get to work for a company that can help save lives and improve communication in times of a crisis. I also enjoy working with districts who want to try the CrisisGo app out before actually becoming a customer.  Everyone seems to love the app and all of its features, regardless if they are a school district, a child care facility, or a business!”

In her spare time, Angela enjoys participating in 5k events. Having just recently moved from a small town in Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri, she is finding there is always something to do. Angela also is quite the adventurer as she loves to take spontaneous trips when time allows.  She also enjoys jigsaw puzzles, running/walking, and meeting new people.

CrisisGo is glad to have Angela on the team and we encourage our customers to reach out and give Angela a virtual high five for a job well done!


Watch to Learn about Student Reunification With This Two-Minute Video Tutorial

Are you a fan of CrisisGo?  If so, refer a friend and save your district money!  Here’s how it works:

When a referring district refers another district to sign a 12-month contract with CrisisGo, the referring district gets $100 off their renewal rate (Up to $500 per year). The district referred receives 2 free video accounts of $500 value.  Happy Referring!  If you have questions or want to refer someone today, email us at  Thanks!

Quote from CrisisGo’s CEO Jim Spicuzza:

“Mobile Student Reunification improves the speed and increases the accuracy of releasing students to guardians. The mobile Student Reunification also documents the date, time and guardian that picked up the child, in real time.”

Customer Comments

“There are only a few things I trust for sure, and CrisisGo is one of them!” – LeVaughn Smart, SRO, Kirkwood District R-7

“It’s honestly amazing how well prepared my school is now that we have CrisisGo. I highly recommend to ALL schools & administrators!” Katherine Stearns, Math Teacher, Canaan, CT
“I can tell you that this app has not only met but exceeded our expectations on very many levels. We’re very impressed with the final product and what we’ll be able to accomplish with it.”

Deputy Jacob Meyer
Police School Liaison, School District of Chilton

February Partner Feature: Missouri School Boards’ Association
The Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) is a private, not-for profit organization that exists to help local school boards succeed. It does this by providing education including board member training; services such as comprehensive policy support, legal assistance and superintendent search guidance; advocacy at the state and national levels; and cost-saving programs designed to allow school boards to put maximum resources in the classroom. MSBA’s Center for Education Safety is the only organization in Missouri supporting school safety and security.

CrisisGo is always proud to be a partner with an organization that wants to help teachers,administrators, parents, and students by bringing them quality ed tech content such as the CrisisGo app.

To learn more about Captain Mike Bolender, click here. To join the event, just click the image above.

Two-Way Communication During a Crisis – Yes, There’s an App for That


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by Rebecca Renshaw

When confronted by an emergency situation (severe weather, bomb threat, active shooter, etc.), most school districts have an alert system to let school personnel know. That alert is in the form of a “blasted” email or text message that often goes to parents as well. Teachers and staff may be instructed to lockdown or shelter in place. After that — silence.
The alert system in most school districts is a one-way system that does nothing to keep teachers and staff informed of unfolding events or to let response teams know what is going on inside classrooms and offices. The silence may not only be maddening, it may be dangerous. What if a teacher knows exactly where an intruder is, but can’t communicate that information to the responders? This inability to engage in two-way communication can have tragic consequences.

For two-way communication, school districts have had to rely on two-way radios during a crisis. Unfortunately, the disadvantages of a two-way radio system are many:
• Two-way radios are only in the hands of a small percentage of district personnel — usually the very responders who need to hear from those without radios.
• The capital investment for the radios, installation, and licensing is significant.
• Two-way radios don’t just work instantly. Districts must also purchase antennas, repeaters, and have generators for emergency power.
• Two-way radios do not provide the ability to text messages, make and receive phone calls or broadcast live video.
• Two-way radios are easily hacked into with radio scanners, thereby compromising secure communication.

With CrisisGo’s mobile technology, everyone in a district that has the app installed on their smart phone, ipad, or laptop can instantly:
• Send text, video, and voice messages to others in the district.
• Have access to wide coverage. Even if cell service becomes unavailable, users can use the district’s wifi to connect and communicate with one another.
• Eliminate the need for any additional infrastructure (antennas, repeaters, etc)
• Sync with existing security cameras
• Give the district’s police and fire departments the CrisisGo app so they too can instantly communicate with the district’s first responders.
• Make it impossible for outside parties to hack into the CrisisGo platform or eavesdrop.
• Use CrisisGo over an unlimited geographical area.

When it comes to knowing what’s going on in a school during a crisis situation, silence is not golden. If you would like to learn more about CrisisGo, please contact me at