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Avaya Helps Make Smart Schools Safer and Smarter


Two schools take a holistic approach to campus safety with a uniquely
integrated communications solutions from Avaya and Valcom

Santa Clara, Calif. – November 20, 2017 – A keen focus on safety has led two schools on opposite sides of the county to develop best practices supported by an integrated, multi-faceted communications solution from Avaya and Valcom, an Avaya DevConnect technology partner. Placerville Union School District in Northern California and Gottesman RTW Academy in N.J. may be miles apart, but share a similar approach to making their Smart Schools safer and smarter, speeding response times and improving outcomes should a crisis occurs.

Placerville Union School District has two elementary schools and one middle school, with about 150 staff members between them. The district was compelled to streamline the emergency response process, realizing that doing so meant technology had to play a vital role. With Avaya and Valcom, staff across the district can:

  • Flip a switch under any office desk to trigger alert announcements and automated calls to emergency personnel
  • Activate the lockdown bell from any classroom phone, and in an emergency, play an automated message from the superintendent
  • Know when a 9-1-1 call is placed anywhere in the district via an automated digital message displayed on an LED sign in every office

In N.J., at a smaller institution but one no less focused on campus safety, Gottesman RTW Academy looked to streamline its entire communications system with the construction of a new facility. Like the Placerville Union School District, Gottesman integrated its Avaya IP Office Platform with Valcom’s Emergency Mass Communications and Live Paging System. The combined solution delivers efficiency, reduces resource needs and increases communication among students and staff at the school and with the larger community. The system is capable of reaching 100 percent of the school population with emergency notifications made from any classroom or office.


“When you’re in panic mode, you don’t have time to think. That’s why it was really important for the office staff to be able to flip a switch and have everything go into action. Hopefully we won’t ever have to use these solutions in an emergency situation. But we have peace of mind knowing that we’re more prepared than we were six years ago.”
--Judi Whittington, technology coordinator, Placerville Union School District

“Now, we poll people after every single drill. The amount of people that we’re able to reach in an emergency is at 100 percent — and if it isn’t, we’re able to make adjustments very easily to get that at 100 percent, where it needs to be.Switching to Avaya was a seamless transition. It’s something I don’t really have to worry about — I just know it works.”
—Matt Baran, IT coordinator, Gottesman RTW Academy

About Avaya
Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world’s most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications— offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today’s digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit

About Valcom
Valcom, founded in 1977 and headquartered in Roanoke, VA, is an Avaya DevConnect Partner with extensive experience in enterprise paging/mass notification. Valcom’s client list includes Fortune 500 companies, highly secure US government facilities, local government emergency service organizations, healthcare companies and 40,000+ school systems.


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