Chico Unified Logo

How Chico Unified School District extended student safety beyond web filtering to support students in crisis

Download case study


students staying safe and secure on school-issued devices


school administrators and counselors proactively supporting their students


school communities building cultures of safety and trust



Keeping 1:1 devices safe when off the network

Chico Unified School District is located in California’s Sacramento Valley, about a 90-minute drive north of the city of Sacramento. While many school districts experienced declining enrollment post-Covid, Chico Unified has grown as families have retreated to this college town.

Today, more than 12,000 students from preschool through 12th grade attend Chico Unified schools. To support these students, the district employs more than 550 teachers and 30 counselors spread across 23 sites, many of which are being upgraded and modernized under bond measures that passed in 2012 and 2016.

Back in 2017, Chico Unified undertook another modernization effort by expanding to a 1:1 Chromebook program. The introduction of 1:1 devices created a new challenge, though. Chico Unified needed a way to filter student devices so they could travel outside school walls and still be safe when off the network.



A comprehensive student wellness solution that provides off-network filtering, parental device control, and wellness risk alerts

John Vincent, Director of Technology, admits the district's initial evaluation criteria were pretty simple—they needed a school web filter that could maintain protection of student devices even when they were off the network—and all cloud-based web filters offer this.

However, there was one capability Securly provided that sealed the deal: the Securly Home parent portal. Chico Unified didn't realize how much they needed Home until they saw it.

John explains, "Nobody else was showing us anything like it. With Home, we can give parents control of their student's device, and they know their child's online safety is being maintained at home. They can set screen time schedules, see what their kids are searching for, and even turn off Internet access in one click, like at dinner or bedtime."

With the deployment of Securly Filter and Home, Chico Unified shored up students' online safety and experienced a ripple effect of positive impacts as a result, including:

  • More focused students in class
  • More involved parents
  • Happier teachers
  • A stronger culture

Then John learned about the additional layers of protection that Securly Aware could add to Chico's already-solid safety foundation. He knew he had to share the information with his educational services team and district cabinet. When they saw how Securly could help them strengthen student safety and wellness, their decision was simple.

They implemented Securly Aware to gain AI-enabled student wellness monitoring and alerts of students demonstrating concerning risk signals. They also added Securly On-Call to gain human analysis of Aware alerts after school hours and immediate notification of students demonstrating critical risk signals.



"At some point, I know having Securly will save a student's life, and there's nothing more important than that."

Since implementing Securly, John says the benefits Chico Unified has experienced are overwhelmingly positive. “Securly Filter literally opened the door for school-issued devices to be used anywhere safely. And the Home app gives parents equitable access to student devices and Internet controls that they might not otherwise have.”

Adding another layer of protection, Aware wellness monitoring provides critical insights into what students are thinking and doing online. School-based teams know when students are demonstrating safety or wellness concerns that might not otherwise be obvious so they can proactively investigate. The addition of On-Call human support after school hours ensures school emergency contacts are immediately notified of students in crisis.

John shares, "Our assistant principals and school counselors receive multiple alerts every week of kids doing something online that indicates a risk, and they're able to say we caught this one, we'll take care of it. I love that technology can help them do that.” He pauses and adds, “At some point, I know having Securly will save a student's life, and there's nothing more important than that."

With Securly, Chico Unified is:

  • Keeping students safe on school-issued devices everywhere they go
  • Providing families with equitable control of their students' school devices
  • Proactively identifying and supporting students who are struggling
  • Responding quickly to students in crisis before the worst happens
  • Creating a district-wide culture of safety and trust

Looking to the future, Chico USD is excited to explore the implementation of Securly Filter's "block uncategorized sites" feature, which will help the district defend against dangerous content by automatically blocking new sites and proxy servers. "As time goes by, we're seeing more and more threats online," John says. "We're happy to have Securly growing with our needs and helping us keep our students safe against these new threats."

At the end of the day, Chico Unified knows that by taking a comprehensive approach to student safety and wellness they're doing everything they can to keep their students safe and secure. In doing so, they've also seen a positive ripple effect across their entire district. John explains it like this, "Knowing that students are being kept safe has created a real community of trust between the district, its schools, and its families."

Filter Logo

Simplify student safety with cloud-based web filtering.

Filter, a cloud-based web filter designed specifically for schools, helps you keep students safe with powerful features that make your school safer and your IT team happier. Get visibility into online activity, download or email reports, and block inappropriate sites instantly.

Get the product brief
Filter Logo

Intervene quickly to safeguard students against self-harm, suicide, bullying, and violence.

With Securly Aware, you know how your students are doing so you can focus your resources on the students who need support the most. Don't worry about your students' wellness. Know for sure with Aware.

Get the product brief