The Conroe ISD School Safety and Security Committee received information on the Rave 911 app at a special meeting April 19. The app, according to Chris McCord, assistant superintendent of operations, is a software that can be loaded onto a smartphone or computer by school staff to report a variety of emergency services on campus. It also offers a way for staff to communicate among each other for non-life-threatening emergencies.

Community Impact previously reported that the app rolled out in early January.

“If there is a concern on any campus, any staff member can instantly choose the app, and it will alert 911 immediately,” McCord said in a presentation. “It will also notify everyone on that campus that there is a concern.”

McCord said Montgomery County 911 is looking to bring the app to all school districts in the county, including Montgomery and Magnolia ISDs. Willis ISD is already using the app.

“Not only does it call 911 and notify staff immediately, but it also notifies the appropriate responders in the area,” Conroe ISD police Chief Matthew Blakelock said. “If it is a medical emergency, it will notify Montgomery County Hospital District. Same thing if it was an active attacker, law enforcement in the area will get a notification. That includes us, the sheriff's department and other agencies there. That saves precious time.”

McCord said Montgomery County is paying the majority of the costs associated with building and implementing the application. CISD will be responsible for paying the small gap between the total cost and the funded amount, approximately $20,000.

Staff will need to be trained on the proper use of the app before the rollout, McCord said. The district will also need to sort out issues such as staff who move locations frequently and substitute teachers.

“I have earmarked $20,000 in the safety and security budget to pay for that,” McCord said. “We are looking to implement it, if we can get over a few hurdles, at the start of next year.”

The app is designed to work with cellular data or connected to Wi-Fi.