Reaching Out to Parents

9 years 3 months 4 weeks ago September 18, 2007 Sep 18, 2007 Tuesday, September 18 2007 Tuesday, September 18, 2007 6:01:51 PM CDT in News
In the event of an emergency or cancellation, these students and their parents wouldn't have to wait very long to hear the news.
In the past, school administrators have had to send messages to parents via phone trees, word of mouth, or local media.

"It can be a little time consuming and awkward at times, so we were looking for a way to be able to notify our parents quickly," said Centralia Superintendent Darin Ford.

Centralia Schools have signed up with School Reach - a program that sends automated messages from administrators to parents.

Instead of using the old system, administrators can now make a quick phone call or send an email and have messages out to parents in a matter of minutes.

"We can do in two or three minutes what would take literally hours for a phone tree to accomplish," said Ford.

Starting Friday, the school will be able to send information about school closings, practice cancellations and more quickly to certain groups of parents.

The school pays $2.50 per student a year to participate.

Centralia is one of three mid-Missouri districts to use this system.

Moberly and Sturgeon also have the system with School Reach in place, schools have more than just one way messages.

"It also allows us to see what has happened to those messages, whether they've been answered, they've not been answered, or a message was left on the message machine."

And Ford says parents shouldn't worry about an overflowing inbox.

He pledges to only send messages when necessary.

School Reach is currently serving more than 200,000 Missouri students - about 20% of Missouri's student population.

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