FAQs for Educators
SIREN offers a way to ease counselor and staff burden while increasing intervention speed, accuracy and efficiency.
How will SIREN keep our students, teachers and staff safer?
SIREN provides proactive, early warning in advance of violence. SIREN is a proactive early warning system rather than a reactive response system. Most campus security tools focus on fortifying schools at the facility level (hardening of entrances, classrooms etc.) or reacting to attacks that are already underway (via alarms, lockdowns, 911 calls etc.) Psynetix aims to prevent an attack from occurring in the first place, long before fortification or law enforcement actions are required—often the proactive measures suggested by SIREN can be initiated months in advance of any disciplinary or other official act.
How does SIREN work?
SIREN only analyzes students whose behavior has become observable and reportable. This means SIREN is not used to “cast a wide net” over a student population, rather a family member, academic supervisor, academic peer or law enforcement authority must have received a report the student was struggling and referred the report through regular leadership and care channels. At that point, specific information is gathered and the student is assessed and a SIREN Psyfolio is generated for action by school leadership.
Who uses SIREN?
To use SIREN on a campus, school leadership must designate a staff member, care provider, or campus law enforcement analyst as the school’s Behavioral Forensic Analyst or Behavioral Forensics Administrator. The designated staff member must receive a Psynetix certification number (via training) before they can use SIREN. Psynetix recommends that each school designate three employees as users so that they can collaborate with SIREN and each other to assure best outcomes.
What kind of training will my staff need to conduct these evaluations?
Once a school has designated its Behavioral Forensics professional candidate, the candidate attends a 1-2-week course (depending upon designation type) which is offered by Psynetix either on-site or at its headquarters. In training, users learn how to manually perform the analysis that is automatically performed by SIREN. This method of training assures SIREN is well understood and that school professionals know why and how analysis is performed—there is no “black box algorithm” involved. SIREN just automates a very difficult human analysis process that has been in use manually for decades.
What would trigger a student to be evaluated?
SIREN only analyzes students whose behavior has become observable and reportable. That means a staff member, teacher, professor, counselor or fellow students must have observed the student voicing threatening or dangerous thoughts or acting out in some other way. Once that behavior has been seen, it must also be reported. There must be an official record (confidential or not), which predicates the need for analysis or investigation.
What type of information will a typical SIREN report provide?
The SIREN report is called a Psyfolio. It consists of several sections. First, typical biographic information, like names and addresses, is displayed. Next, the Psyfolio details any special concerns, fears, academic or disciplinary history about the student. Also included is information about the positive behaviors displayed and any awards or special recognition earned by the student. Next, information concerning the student’s closest peers is evaluated in an effort to determine any group behaviors or behavioral trends that might be adversely affecting the student.
Finally, the student is evaluated against a database of five million positive and negative behaviors, which have been classified into sixteen dimensions. This process generates a student ranking which is tied to recommendations for evaluations and monitoring if required.
What happens next?
What happens next is a matter of individual school policy. Once the final Psyfolio is generated and action recommendations are offered, Psynetix recommends the Psyfolio be reviewed by a school committee that monitors students of concern. The student’s current teacher and counselor should be part of this group. The committee should then decide a course of action that follows school policy.
Will law enforcement be contacted?
Law enforcement intervention is a matter of school and public policy according to a school’s jurisdiction. Psynetix does not send student information to any outside agency, nor is student information held at Psynetix Laboratories. In fact, if a school’s behavioral forensic specialist makes an error and deleted a file, Psynetix cannot reproduce that file because the company never has a copy.
Can other entities access our information?
Psynetix does not send student information to any outside agency, nor is student information held at Psynetix Laboratories. In fact, if a school’s behavioral forensic specialist makes an error and deleted a file, Psynetix cannot reproduce that file because the company never has a copy.
If a student transfers to a different school, will the information follow them?
That decision is made at the school administrator level. Psynetix Laboratories does not have a copy of the file and cannot send it anywhere.
"We have to look for ways to intervene before tragedy occurs and the sad reality is not everyone who needs help is going to seek it and not everyone who needs a bit more scrutiny is going to exhibit the behaviors staff are trained to look for. SIREN is a groundbreaking tool to help administrators focus resources before problems occur and could well be the lifesaver we’ve been looking for.”
– Dr. Keith Wade, President