KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 24, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
It is the last week of school for Katy ISD but the District continues to work behind the scenes to ensure the safety of Katy students through their now, well established SpeakUp app. The app functions year-round and allows students, parents, staff, and community members to anonymously report tips or dangerous situations to the District.
Second Year Shows a More Established App
Katy ISD’s SpeakUpp app rolled out during the 2019-2020 academic school year. In its second year, the app has proven its effectiveness and shown to be more established and widely used throughout the District.
'Reliable Space to Share Concerns'
“The SpeakUp app has created a safe and reliable space for students and patrons to share their concerns with Katy ISD campus and District staff,” Ted Vierling, Chief of Operation at Katy ISD. “The District has developed systems that allow for better response time, and our efforts at helping students are far-reaching, utilizing both campus and District resources.”
The app allows students, parents, staff, and community members to report anonymously any tips or dangerous situations that could pose a threat to Katy students and campuses. This real-time information allows Katy ISD to respond faster and more efficiently.
“Tips are submitted to the school where the reported incident may have occurred, or to the District’s Crisis Intervention group or police department when the information is either not reported to a particular school, or requires investigation or further assistance from those teams.”
Vierling stresses that all tips submitted will continue to be monitored during summer break. Even as the bulk of classes come to an end this week, Katy ISD still will continue to host summer school, camps and sporting events. Students and staff will remain active on Katy campuses throughout the summer.
Top 3 Categories Reported in Katy ISD:
When reporting a tip on the SpeakUpp app there are variety of topics to select from. Katy ISD continues to see an overwhelming use of three top categories.
2. Drug Use
The pandemic has brought many challenges to the District with the District with the logistics of KVA to managing athletic and fine art events and more but the SpeakUp app did not see any notable increase of reporting during this year linked to the pandemic.
“What we DO see is that the app is being used with much more fidelity than when it was first implemented,” says Vierling.” “Students are taking it very seriously and can express their concerns freely.”
Vierling also shares that the District’s Crisis Intervention Team is fully developed and able to respond to Life Safety tips quickly and effectively.
App will Evolve with Time
“The app has been a tremendous resource to our students, parents and staff in identifying and addressing potential issues and concerns regarding safety and well-being,” says Vierling. “Over time, as technology, reporting and data gathering needs evolve, we imagine that the SpeakUp app will as well. The District is always looking for feedback and will make future changes to the app as necessary.”
Tips may include bullying, weapons-related incidents, suicide or self-harm, illicit drug use, inappropriate relationships, violence and other concerns of safety and well-being.
“We know - based on real-life experiences- that the SpeakUp app has helped the District maintain safety on our campuses, and has given us a better opportunity to help kids who have immediate needs- 24 hours per day,” says Vierling.
Download FREE App Online
Learn more about the SpeakUpp App and sign up for this free mobile application online.