RISD adds alert notification system for parental outreach

Calls, texts, emails now sent for absences, events

Parents or guardians of Rockda le ISD students can now receive phones calls, text messages or emails on emergency issues, absences or school events with the district’s new alert notification program.

Rockdale ISD had signed on with SchoolMessenger, a company that provides notification services for parental outreach, emergency broadcasts and student attendance communications for K-12 education. Now parents can receive phone calls, text alerts and emails about a range of important issues affecting their students’ safety and academic performance, district superintendent Dr. Howell Wright said.

SchoolMessenger will be used to complement the district’s existing emergency preparedness procedures and to inform parents of upcoming school events such as statewide testing and parent meetings. The alert service from SchoolMessenger is proven to measurably impact student safety, parental involvement, staff communications and student attendance, Wright said.

Currently, SchoolMessenger is set up to call the main phone number listed as the student’s home phone. However, School- Messenger is also able to send email, text messages or call various phone numbers as designated by a parent. For example, a parent may want a general school message regarding an athletic event to be sent to his/her email, but he/she would want an emergency message regarding a safety issue to be sent immediately to his/her cell phone. Using the Contact Manager, parents will be able to determine how they would like to be contacted for different ty pes of messages, Wright said.

He added that parents should look for a letter coming in the mail which will give them directions on how to set up their account and manage the way they get messages and notifications. Contact Manager activation instructions, as well as student ID and password codes will be included in the letter.

The district will send out a test message on Friday, Jan. 15. Parents should expect to receive notifications from the system beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19 concerning student absences.

“This system will not replace current modes of school communication. Principals are still accessible for live visits and the district will still send home paperbased memoranda,” Wright said. “Acquisition of the SchoolMessenger system is intended to reinforce the district’s commitment to remain personally connected to parents.”

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2010-01-14 digital edition

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