District 113A Board of Education recently approved a contract for a new notification system that will allow the district to distribute messages to parents in a variety of formats—telephone, text, or e-mail.
Computer-based system Blackboard Connect 5 distributes information via record messages to all district families via phone, text and email, within minutes. Messages will be categorized as either "emergency" or "outreach."
Messages tagged as "emergency"—such as in the case of school closings or lockdowns—will be sent to all numbers and addresses on file in the family's Blackboard Connect 5 account. Parents may not opt out of emergency notifications.
Parents may, however, opt out of "Outreach" messages, which typically contain non-emergency information such as reminders about events, calendar changes, and meetings.
"We are excited about this new communication tool and hope that parents will find the multiple message formats helpful, too," wrote Assistant Superintendent Mary Gricus, in a notice on the district website.
Parents are also encouraged to contact Patti McDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Diane Chaps (email@example.com) with any further questions.