This case study explores how St. Stanislaus Kostka Academy, a private school in Chicago, addressed significant challenges in communication and safety by upgrading to the Carina PA, Intercom, and Bell System. Enhancing both routine operations and emergency responsiveness, the new system has transformed the school’s safety communication infrastructure.


St. Stanislaus Kostka Academy (St. Stan’s), a private Preschool to 8th-grade school near Downtown Chicago, is committed to delivering a rigorous academic program. Students at St. Stan’s engage in a comprehensive curriculum that includes Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, social-emotional skills, STEM, and leadership training. However, the school faced significant challenges with its outdated communication infrastructure which affected daily operations and safety protocols.


The school relied on an old analog Public Address (PA) system, which had multiple operational inefficiencies:

  • Manual Operation: The principal needed to physically plug in the PA system each morning for announcements and unplug it immediately after, which was inefficient and cumbersome.
  • Inaccurate Bell Schedule: The bell system was inflexible and failed to account for daylight saving time adjustments, resulting in bells ringing at incorrect times throughout half the year. Students lingered in the hallways which delayed class start. To manage this, a teacher rang a handbell in the hallway to signal the start of classes.
  • Ineffective Communication: To contact teachers during class, the principal resorted to calling or texting their mobile phones, often going unanswered until breaks due to ongoing classes.
  • Safety Concerns: In emergencies, such as lockdowns, the principal had to run to the office to activate the PA system, delaying critical announcements and potentially compromising student safety.


To address these challenges, St. Stan’s installed the Carina PA, Intercom, and Bell System across the campus:

  • Digital Hardware: Installation included a Carina wall-mounted speaker in each classroom, double-sided IP displays in hallways, and an IP display in the cafeteria.
  • Pre-Recorded Emergency Announcements: The principal proactively recorded various emergency messages, including lockdown announcements, which can now be played instantly across the school during critical situations, ensuring timely and clear instructions are provided.
  • Enhanced Communication Tools: Phone extensions corresponding to classroom numbers were set up to work with their VoIP phone system, enabling direct calls to classrooms.
  • Classroom Intercoms: Each classroom was equipped with call buttons integrated with the Carina system. A hunt group was also established so that if no one in the front office answered, the call would automatically route to the principal’s office or other administrators.
  • Adjustable Bell Schedule: The bell schedule was programmed into the Carina Event Manager, which automatically adjusts for daylight saving time, ensuring accuracy throughout the year.



The implementation of the Carina system brought immediate and tangible improvements:

  • Immediate Lockdown Response: The PA system remains active continuously, allowing instant broadcast of pre-recorded lockdown announcements by dialing a specific extension, significantly reducing response times in emergencies.
  • Efficient Morning Announcements: The principal can now make morning announcements directly from his desk phone without the need for manual setup and disconnection each time.
  • On-Time Class Transitions: With the corrected bell schedule, classes start and end on time, eliminating hallway loitering and enhancing the school’s operational flow.
  • Direct Classroom Communication: When a parent needs to pick up a child or a medical situation arises, the front office can directly call the classroom speaker, ensuring swift attention to the matter at hand.


The adoption of the Carina system at St. Stanislaus Kostka Academy has significantly improved the school’s communication capabilities, safety protocols, and overall operational efficiency. This case study serves as a powerful example for other educational institutions facing similar challenges and underscores the importance of integrating modern technology to enhance school management and safety.

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