Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, News & Advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Lisa Railton
on January 06, 2020

Three years ago, Wichita Falls Independent School District (ISD) in Texas rolled out a 1:1 Chromebook initiative. Serving 14,100 students across 26 campuses, the large school district quickly recognized the need for a formal system to monitor students’ mental, emotional, and social health issues. Around the same time, the district was putting the finishing touches on its new belief system, which included developing systems that would identify and meet the needs of its students.

Initially relying on a combination of Chromebook filters to detect when students were going against the district’s usage guidelines, Wichita Falls ISD revamped their approach to student health, implementing new physical, emotional, and social support systems—including the Gaggle student safety platform. “We felt pretty safe,” said Superintendent Michael S. Kuhrt. “Then, when we started using Gaggle to monitor what students were really talking and writing about online, all of a sudden everything became a lot more real.”

Since implementing Gaggle, administrators have intervened in at least 10 different situations where late-night phone calls or in-home visits helped thwart potentially dangerous situations. The Gaggle platform quickly raised red flags in these situations, which let the district know that it needed to act immediately. “Those are the extremes,” notes Kuhrt, “but we also saw some really disturbing things that students were talking about and risks they were taking that just weren’t healthy.”

Kuhrt believes Gaggle should be a natural choice for any institution that wants to keep its students and staff safe from harm. “I don’t think you have a choice but to get Gaggle,” he stated. “Once you save one child’s life, the investment has more than paid for itself.” Read the case study to learn more about how this district uses Gaggle to keep its students safe.

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