Cedar Hill ISD Counseling Uses Technology To Identify Concerns

Cedar Hill Independent School District has increased its efforts to identify concerns and threats, in order to keep scholars safe.

Cedar Hill ISD Executive Director of Counseling Dr. Courtney Jackson said the district is piloting two programs – Lightspeed at the high school level and Go Guardian Beacon at the middle school level.

“They are programs that screen for risk among our scholars – to see if they are posting anything concerning across the Google platforms, the CHISD website or their social media,” Jackson said. “We screen for violence, self harm, bullying and cyberbullying.”

Once alerted, the notifications go directly to district counselors.

“It alerts us immediately, so we can be timely in our response,” Jackson said. “If the program supports one scholar, it’s done its job.”

Jackson said the Lightspeed program is very effective because the threats are screened by a group of non-CHISD counselors, psychologists and former police officers – who then inform CHISD personnel on whether the threat is credible or not.

Go Guardian Beacon sends the alert directly to CHISD personnel, which has resulted in some false alerts.

“We don’t care about evaluating false alerts, as long as we can catch the real ones,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the Counseling Department will evaluate the two programs this summer and make a decision on moving forward for the 2023-2024 school year.