November 9, 2022

How Schools Are Using GoGuardian Beacon to Keep Students Safer

GoGuardian Team
A teacher pointing at a laptop with three students watching

When Morris School District in New Jersey launched its 1:1 program 12 years ago, the priority was finding a way to manage student devices — which is why they turned to GoGuardian. 

Since first partnering with GoGuardian, Morris School District has experienced dedicated customer support, virtual professional development, certified teacher programs, and onsite visits from GoGuardian account executives. Because of this continued assistance, Morris School District has adopted new GoGuardian solutions along the way to help make teaching easier and students safer. 

Transitioning from Smart Alerts to Beacon

From the beginning of Morris’s adoption and integration of GoGuardian into its digital ecosystem, student safety has remained a core value. They believe it’s vital to provide every student a device with a safety net.

When adopting a student safety solution, the ability to set policies for a wide range of student needs and age groups was top of mind for administrators. In the early days, Morris created a customized response system with policy settings and trigger alerts to keep the administration on the same page. Using Google Groups, triggers and alerts were sent to a group of designated users simultaneously to keep everyone in constant communication regarding student safety.

In March 2022, the Morris School District expanded from GoGuardian Smart Alerts to Beacon. District escalation procedures did not change — the enhanced functionality of Beacon did. Morris’s administrators welcomed features like being able to see past alerts and the ability to use the notes area to document alert procedures. The expansion to Beacon began at grades 6-8, then expanded to grades 9-12, and, most recently, grades K-5. 

Mark Manning, principal of Morristown High School, says he finds GoGuardian Beacon helpful on many levels.

“The alerts help us address any acute issues regarding student health and safety, which is job number one for any administrator," he says. "Receiving information about potential student self-harm or harm to others is critically important to create a safer, more healthy, and secure school environment.”

Opening the lines of communication with Beacon

Manning says the parents he's spoken with about these alerts are incredibly grateful for the information and the school’s willingness to share it.

“Alerts provide us with the opportunity to engage in conversations with students about appropriate technology etiquette," he continues. "I believe these conversations go a long way in helping students understand the potential long-term impact of their digital footprint.”

Matt Fabricant, vice principal of Frelinghuysen Middle School, adds, “Because we get concerning alerts in real-time about a range of student searches, from self-harm to suicidal ideation to violence, we have been able to proactively connect them with whatever support they may need — including counseling, community-based support, and, if necessary, higher levels of support through intensive outpatient services.”

He notes it has also strengthened the school’s relationships with families, as they appreciate the level of communication they receive.

“I truly believe GoGuardian has been a critically important tool to helping our students and families,” he says.