MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. (August 28, 2020) – Telecenter U®, an advanced network-based school communications system from Rauland, now includes new features designed to help school districts, schools and classrooms operate within CDC guidelines during COVID-19. The new software and hardware components complement the existing integrated solutions designed for everyday education communications, scheduling, event management and emergencies.

New to Telecenter U are body temperature sensing cameras for building entryways and custom cleaning buttons that track the cleanliness of the entire facility. The body temperature scanner alerts when a student, faculty member or visitor has a high temperature and logs, and tracks trends in high temperature cases over time.

“Screening students, faculty and staff for high temperatures could play an essential role in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses,” said George Lind, vice president of sales and marketing of education North America for Rauland, a leader in the design and delivery of critical communications and life-safety solutions for schools and healthcare facilities. “As students approach a building with a fevered body temperature, they could be redirected to security staff, a school nurse or other staff member. School districts can also observe data trends that may show an increase or decrease of high temperature by location and make decisions based on this real-time information.”

In addition, new custom cleaning buttons request and track the cleaning of classrooms across the entire facility, while the Telecenter U online mapping feature shows the cleanliness of the entire school at a glance. Status lights indicate when rooms need cleaning or are ready for use.

“The CDC recommends that frequently touched surfaces within schools are cleaned and disinfected at least daily or between use as much as possible,” said Lind. “These customizable cleaning schedules are easily modified to adjust to new calendars, staggered entrances and exits, and the travel flow of the student body.”

The cleaning hardware panel for classrooms and offices includes “need cleaning,” “room cleaned,” and “emergency call” buttons. When a button is pressed, Telecenter U status lights activate in the hallway notifying staff and students that a room needs to be cleaned, or that it has been cleaned.

A cleaning request also can be activated through the Telecenter U online user interface and includes audio prompts to remind and notify janitorial staff to clean classrooms. Event history reporting tracks when and how often rooms are cleaned.

Flexible Scheduling Features

In addition to the new cleaning buttons and camera sensor features, Telecenter U offers everyday communications features that can aid in scheduling and social distancing efforts. The CDC recommends that educational facilities adopt a staggered or rotating schedule to reduce class sizes and dismissal times.

Telecenter U scheduling provides flexibility and customization so that schools can pre-record specific messages for class changes. This feature also can be used to stagger arrival and drop-off times of students. Telecenter U can have multiple pre-configured schedules in one place on a single day, for example with early or later start and end of school day times.

“With Telecenter U you can send email notifications to staff informing them which schedule they are abiding by for the day,” said Lind. “A ‘drag and drop schedule change’ makes it easy to apply schedule changes on the fly with regard to both class changes and student arrival and dismissal times.”

Bell schedules are also easily modified as schools adjust their calendars and introduce new plans for safe learning. Wayfinding message boards can direct hallway traffic to maintain social distancing.

Everyday Messaging Reminders

Telecenter U also can be utilized to provide regular PA announcements and message board alerts that may help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends reminding students and staff of hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Both audio and visual reminders can be scheduled district wide or single school paging from the web user interface or administration console.

“With Telecenter U school notification systems, communication is simple and targeted all day, every day to a single location, a group of facilities or an entire district,” said Lind.

A Legacy of Crisis Management

The effectiveness of a school’s emergency response depends on a proactive approach. Telecenter U was developed to give school leaders the opportunity to pre-record critical notifications that allow for an immediate, customized response to a wide range of emergencies. With simple and targeted live communications, Telecenter U also manages everything from paging, intercom, bells and locks to keep each school day running smoothly.

Telecenter U school alert systems allow personnel to act quickly and confidently in almost any crisis scenario. Features include district-wide emergency response automated notifications, web-based bells and schedule events and announcements, and two-way calling to classrooms.

“Telecenter U is completely customizable and offers flexibility to change with CDC recommendations and your specific crisis management, social distancing and cleaning plans,” said Lind. “With Rauland, customers can depend on our commitment to helping them maintain their district and school communications infrastructure while giving them flexibility to adapt to future needs.”