In our effort to improve communication between parents and school, effective Fall 2010, A-H-S-T School District is implementing a telephone broadcast system that will enable school personnel to notify all households and parents by phone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes early dismissal, school cancellation or late start. The service may also be used from time-to-time to communicate general announcements or reminders. This service is provided by SchoolReach, a company specializing in school-to-parent communications. A-H-S-T School District will continue to report school closings due to snow or weather on local radio stations and will use this system as an overlay to the public announcements.
Tips for making sure you get the message:
- The caller ID will be 712-343-6364. There is a short pause at the beginning of the message, usually a few seconds. Answer your phone as you normally would; “hello” and hold for the message to begin. Multiple “hellos” will delay the message. Inform all family members who may answer your phone of this process.
- The system will detect that your machine has answered and will play the recording to your machine. The phone will ring for up to 40 seconds. Make sure that your machine answers after four rings or you may miss the message.
- At the end of the message you will be prompted to ‘press any key’ to hear the message again. This is very helpful when a child answers the phone and hands it to a parent, who can then ‘repeat’ the message in its entirety.
- If your school is using SchoolReach for daily attendance, you will be notified each day that your child misses a required
- number of classes. To minimize these calls, make sure to inform the school when you KNOW your child will miss classes on a given day.
Some reasons for false detection:
- Loud background noise; television, radio, general noisy environment.
- A cordless phone that has static or other foreign noise.
- Not saying “hello” or repeatedly saying “hello”.
- Cellular phones which, when called, have the ‘ringback tones’ music option.
- Answering machine/voice mail greetings which are too long or have long pauses in speech.
What can be done to remedy this?
- Do not say “hello” more than once. If the system detected your answer incorrectly, all noise will reset the three-second counter.
- If, after you answer, the message does not immediately play, cover the mouthpiece of the phone to cutout all background noise. The message should begin after three seconds.