Ok, so with usual foresight, we in IT have been told that we have a fire drill tomorrow...
So down comes the Deputy head and says "what solutions does your Network Manager have in place for taking registers if the building is burning down around us?". The answer: "nada". The response: "get one." (well, substitute half and hours pointless discussion for that, but you get the idea...).
So, what software do you guys use to register students in case of fire? Does it require network access (if so what happens if the server room is suicde bombed by an outraged member of tech support?).
Or do you rely on a paperbased system?
We (the school) print a drill register each day just after registration, and record other comings and goings on paper.
It's a waste of paper most of the time, but it's better than one of the office girls burning to death waiting for the printer to calibrate.
We have a paper based system and it's nothing to do with our department, it's SMT and office staff. This has been talked about before and there's no 'right' solution but the paper method works well and requires little training so anyone can do it.
Our attendance person prints off paper registers and take them outside when the alarm sounds. Several times per day should be sufficient, or every lesson depending on how kind to the environment you want to be.
We tried using electronic systems, but the office had to print registers *after* all the marks were done, to be used in emergencies. So, we were printing 70 pages a day.
Now, we're back with a paper based system where a single sheet is in a register for the week.
We just haven't been able to figure out a good electronic solution as yet...
As I said though, it's easier said than done, I've never really done anything like that to Sims...
Checks on a laptop should include: runs on battery for a sensible amount of time (say, an hour); has data; can display data without errors; data is up to date; screen and peripherals still work; etc.
However, fetching registers in the evening is pretty useless, it gives you no indication of who's on site today. If you're going to do it that way, it needs to happen just after registration periods.
Best solution I have seen/used is keeping a set of laminated reg lists with dry wipe pens to hand, these are taken out on the alarm sounding and reg tutors mark pupils present or absent, these are then checked against a report printed out from your MIS of choice listing only absentees, this can be run either after morning/afternoon reg or if using lesson registration could be quickly run out on the alarm sounding. This would also need to be cross checked with any signing in books etc.
After the evacuation reg lists can simply be cleaned and reused, obviously they will need to be kept up to date with new arrivals etc.
office staff do the fire regs printed from PARS
i have to do a staff register, i have to collate this each year according to the time table and who is not in and who is at the VI form (ie not burning inside)
Trouble is, that leaves too much to chance. As Powdarrmonkey says, I suppose it needs to update in the morning, or every hour. But then it requires too much maintenance and checking...
Not an easy one...
This is an issue to take up with the fire officer at your local fire service - they will give advice as to what exactly is needed from you, then a solution can be built around that.
A single laptop with data exported to it would not be much use... What if you have 30 classes, can you imagine how long it would take to register them all from one laptop?
We had a drill at 8.55 the other day. Everything was useless as no registers had been taken!
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