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FAQ's

SIREN offers a way to ease counselor and staff burden while increasing intervention speed, accuracy and efficiency.

Want to Learn More?

If you aren’t already familiar with it, the student of concern assessment process can be extremely difficult to understand.  Just one assessment often involves several experts, many with doctoral degrees, who meet and debate their findings in an attempt to find common ground and make recommendations.  Fortunately, SIREN eliminates the most burdensome part of that process using machine learning. If you have questions about SIREN, please feel free to contact us at (800) 298-3345. 

FAQ's

FAQ's for Educators

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.





General FAQ's

Why does SIREN exist?


Following the Parkland school shooting, SIREN, the Student Intervention, Referral & Engagement Network, was created to stop school shootings and save student lives.




How has this method been used before?


The processes that are automated in SIREN have been used for decades in military human assessment operations. Law enforcement has also used them. The methods have been highly successful.




Is SIREN currently used on campuses?


Yes, but it is new technology. Its primarily in use in the southeast US.




How is SIREN already making a difference?


SIREN has proven to save significant amounts of time and money while accurately assessing students who were potential threats to themselves and/or others.





FAQ's for Parents

How will SIREN make my child safer?


The first step to resolving campus challenges is always to accurately and precisely identify the problem at its source. SIREN makes and keeps students safe by providing school administration with complete behavioral awareness of students who may be struggling and their impact on the greater campus population. Using SIREN, a student may be found to be struggling due to any number of overt or hidden potential human influences and behaviors which are drawn from within sixteen behavioral dimensions. These dimensions range from academic indicators to significant life events or from psychological markers to medical conditions. Precisely knowing that a student is in need of care and knowing what type of care is best assures that the student of concern and his or her peers co-exist in a healthy environment that is positive for everyone involved. SIREN uses a proven process that has been highly successful in predicting how humans may act within certain contexts. By providing school leaders and caregivers with SIREN, there is direct illumination into the pathway that begins with minor infractions and ends with dangerous and threatening behavior or worse. SIREN is the tool school administrators need to identify problems while they are still small and hopefully, of minor consequence.




How does SIREN work?


SIREN is non-intrusive to your student. The secret to SIREN isn’t that it “snoops” on the student (and by natural extension, your family), but rather that the technology platform helps educational staff ask the right questions in the right way. Next, SIREN manages mass amounts of data about the student’s thoughts and actions as compared against the trials of being a student in today’s hectic and challenging world where the campus is a microcosm of the best and worst of our society. Once a student is selected as a candidate for SIREN analysis, the school enters basic biographic information about the student and his/her associates, which can help reveal peer influences and behavioral trends about which the school and perhaps even the parents, have little or no knowledge. Next, information about the student’s school history is entered into SIREN in an effort to determine where a student excels, “just” exists, or faces struggles. SIREN then generates a report that details an in-depth explanation of the behavioral environment and its possible effects on the student. This report is called a Psyfolio. The Psyfolio then generates recommendations concerning interventions or care plans to the school staff for discussion and possible selection.




How does SIREN make decisions about my child and how are those decisions enforced?


SIREN never makes decisions about a student nor does it suggest enforcement actions. SIREN simply generates a score and then compares it against a slate of interventions for use by the school staff. In fact, in user certification training every person who uses SIREN signs a form indicating their acknowledgment that SIREN is an analysis, not a decision-making tool. SIREN is built with machine-human collaboration in mind.




Why would a student be evaluated?


Students must have engaged in “observable, reportable behavior” before being selected as a candidate for SIREN assessment. That means the student must have engaged in some concerning behavior that was reported to school administrators and which was the focus of a written report. SIREN is not a tool to be used to “cast a net” into the population in search of potential students of concern. Such use of our platform is unethical and any school discovered to have engaged in such behavior will have its access to SIREN immediately and permanently discontinued.




Will I be told if my child is evaluated?


Psynetix Laboratories believes parents should be made aware if their student is assessed by SIREN, however parental disclosure is at the discretion of the school.




Are people at my child’s school really qualified to evaluate my child in this way?


Many schools have on staff counselors or psychometric professionals who are certified to conduct assessments. However, in the case of SIREN, the platform is the assessor in that it complies the record and suggests interview questions in order to synthesize the data. Once the data is automatically synthesized and fused humans take over the process to review why and how the analysis was conducted and to make any related decisions and judgements. Finally, no school staff may use SIREN unless they have attended the Psynetix training course and received an analyst certification number.




What if a child is going through a temporary rough patch at home? Is this factored into the evaluation?


Yes. Though such rough patches can be of many originations such as a medical or social problem, they typically arise and are evaluated as Significant Life Events. Psynetix Laboratories sees every student’s life as a movie and every assessment as a snapshot of a given period of time. SIREN can be used as often as needed to provide the best “true” picture of a student’s life structure.




If I contact the school about a student, will they be evaluated or told that I shared my concern?


Not by SIREN because there is no automated method for such contact. Not by Psynetix Laboratories because we don’t even know your student exists. Such disclosures are made only according to local policy.




What happens after an evaluation?


Following assessment, the school decides next steps based upon their own professional judgement and local policy. Neither SIREN nor Psynetix are involved in the process.




Will the police be called?


When police are called is a matter of local policy. Neither SIREN nor Psynetix are involved in such a process.




Who is informed if a child is assessed as a Student of Concern?


Student of Concern (or other similar) designation is determined at the local school level. Neither SIREN nor Psynetix are involved in such a process.




Will a child evaluated through SIREN impact their chance to go to college or other future opportunities?


No, SIREN reports are confidential documents maintained at the local school level. They are part of the student’s care and treatment record, which is protected by law in most states.





"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, Weber University

 

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