Little Elm ISD will be installing a new weather warning system at Lobo Stadium, Little Elm High School and two new middle schools this year. Approved by the school board, the Perry Weather group will be replacing the current WeatherBug app the district uses.
After consulting with town officials and those in the athletic department, the school district decided to go in an alternative direction. In the past, the town has struggled with weather warnings. At a band competition last year, there was no warning of 40 mph wind and rain gusts. In that particular situation, as was brought up my Trustee Dan Blackwood, there was no lightning and the students and staff were blindsided.
“Part of this came from the town of Little Elm with the parks and recreation department. They are familiar with this system and thought it was a great system for them to use. Since we do partner with them a lot, we thought we would at least investigate,” Rod Reeves, executive director for operational services, said. “After we looked at that, we thought it was very advantageous.”
The system itself includes a public announcement system and an automatic 30 minute clock after a lightning strike. The system will sound a warning when there is inclement weather and allow for live messaging in the event of anything going on. The new technology at Lobo Stadium will not need to have a public address system installed since there is already an operational system in place. The board agreed, at the recommendation of Reeves, that it was time to move for change.
“WeatherBug, the little app that we were using, it's time to move and it doesn’t give our kids the protection they need,” Ross Roberts, deputy superintendent, said. “Simultaneously with the town and the athletic department, we said we have to move to a more protective program.”
Perry Weather is used by Rockwall ISD and Allen ISD and has received high remarks from both of those schools, according to Reeves. It is also used by many towns.
“Perry Weather is used by many other districts. I saw the presentation myself and it was unbelievable. The best I have ever seen in terms of what it does, the awareness, and things like that,” Roberts said.
The system can also be used for large events that are not just Little Elm ISD specific as well. The district hosts band competitions and UIL competitions frequently. This system would allow people, with the correct email address, to sign on the app the runs along with the system.