Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Lisa Railton
on September 3, 2020

Located approximately 10 miles from Colorado Springs, Widefield School District 3 (WSD3) serves more than 10,000 students across 16 schools. The district’s team of school counselors are spread across the various campuses to oversee its students, but finding the time for one-on-one interactions with students was difficult at best. Without the time or resources needed to help support students’ social and emotional well-being, WSD3 decided to add Gaggle to its technology lineup.

Within just a few days of implementation, one of the district’s first alerts from Gaggle was about a student who was sending potentially suicidal emails from a school restroom. “We had an administrator in the restroom within minutes checking on the student to make sure everything was okay,” recalled Carlos Lopez, director of technology for the district. This emergency situation was quickly averted when district administrators responded to the notification.

The fact that one student’s life was saved within days of implementing the new student safety platform sold the entire district on Gaggle’s use. “That alone was lifesaving, and over the years we’ve had a handful of these situations,” said Lopez. “You can’t put a price on a student’s life in any way, shape, or form.”

Gaggle has also proven its worth during the COVID-19 crisis. Between remote learning, social distancing rules, and school closures, the need for a solution that can help districts monitor students’ mental health becomes even greater. For instance, a student at WSD3 who shares a personal narrative about self-harm with a friend via Google Drive can receive the right level of intervention quickly. “Our protocol in receiving Gaggle alerts has worked extremely well; it’s the only way we conduct business,” said Lopez. “I’ve even noticed that our administrators are timelier than ever with their responses.”

Want to learn more about how this Colorado district safeguards its students both on campus and at home? Be sure to check out the full WSD3 success story on our website.

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