BISD

BELTON — Belton Independent School District is adopting a new cellphone app to improve safety and streamline its anonymous tip system.

Superintendent Susan Kincannon presented the new system to the BISD board Monday.

“We’re moving forward with the implementation of a new safety communication tool called Anonymous Alerts,” Kincannon said.

Safety coordinator Doug Taylor reviewed the app with a committee of teachers and community members as well as the district safety committee.

“Both committees liked the system and felt good about moving forward with the implementation of Anonymous Alerts,” Kincannon said.

The superintendent said that the app has been a success in other districts.

“This is an app that’s currently used by about 130 districts across the state,” Kincannon said.

Students and community members can download the app from iTunes, Google Play or the Chrome store.

“We are planning to push it out to all district devices, replacing our existing tip line system that we have in place,” Kincannon said. “It is designed to improve safety by empowering our students and others to speak up and say something.”

Kincannon said the district is working to set up a system to determine who will be receiving and responding to these messages at particular times.

“The user or the submitter has the option to remain anonymous, or they can reveal their identity when they submit a report,” Kincannon said. “They can also attach a screen shot or a photo to their report to be able to provide more information to us.”

The next step in adopting the new system is training campus administrators.

“We plan to pilot it for a few days at South Belton Middle School before rolling it out across the district,” Kincannon said. “We’re very excited about this — we do know that districts and campuses that have used it have had good luck with getting important safety information, and we do know that safety starts with our students.”

Board Secretary Janet Leigh asked if it would be possible for board members to receive training on the app.

“Once you guys get that going and rolling, could we get a little demo?”

“Absolutely,” Kincannon replied. “We can come back and do a demo, you can download it on your phone and your devices as well.”

Staff Writer Jacob Sanchez contributed reporting to this story.