How do you do....it? Thread, Contacting Staff/Students in an Emergency in Technical; Well.. in the current panic stricken world that is caused by this latest flu epidemic, I have been asked if ...
5th May 2009, 12:52 PM #1
Contacting Staff/Students in an Emergency
Well.. in the current panic stricken world that is caused by this latest flu epidemic, I have been asked if there is any way that "something" could be set up so that we can contact the staff/students to tell them "the school is closed".
Now, the obvious thing to do is set up an email mailing/distribution list with every single staff/student in (or even two, one each). But the problem with that is, not everyone checks their email in the morning, before work (ermm.. no comment on this, ahem ).
So, does anyone have a way of contacting staff, students, parents, to tell them to PANIC! ... err.. not come into school ?
And, if so, how have you done this ?
Is this via email, text, phone ?
I suppose we would also want a 2nd message to say, "school open again", but this has less appeal to me. We used to have a telephone cascade, but it had never been tested, and it would fail, if people were unavailable.
I thought that there might be a company who would do this as a service, but I find nothing useful from Google.
5th May 2009, 12:53 PM #2
Something like Groupcall Groupcall - Parental Communications is what we are buying into.
Originally Posted by User3204
5th May 2009, 01:03 PM #3
Why not have a phone tree? Lo-tech I know but it works. Head contacts SLT, SLT contact selected department heads, Department heads contact staff. As long as everyone is included then it works. Plus beyond the first decision and call the system is distributed so more resilient, especially as once one department has gotten the word they normally phone friends in other departments so it spreads virally as well. Add to that that the dept heads need to keep their phone list up to date it spreads the load rather than one person having to run around and get numbers.
5th May 2009, 01:07 PM #4
We use this company
We have used this system for 2 years now - very successfully.
Keep Kids Safe Communication Project – By schools for schools
5th May 2009, 02:01 PM #5
Keep Kids Safe
There are more txt services around there too, but try and keep it to one that links in with your MIS and make sure you keep your MIS up to date after recent issues of SMS being sent to the family of a deceased child.
5th May 2009, 02:05 PM #6
Unfortunate choice of words in the current situation...
Originally Posted by TechMonkey
5th May 2009, 02:54 PM #7
Local radio is the best and cheapest way to do it.
We also have teacher/support staff contact tree.
EDIT: Also on the school website.
5th May 2009, 03:05 PM #8
This is how we do it... And we have groupcall although its not used for that purpose.
Originally Posted by sippo
5th May 2009, 04:15 PM #9
Anyone tried Twitter for this? Particularly now they have free SMS to vodafone back.
What about a dedicated RSS feed for announcing closures/re-openings?
5th May 2009, 04:24 PM #10
ParentMail will allow sending of text messages as well as email.
Local radio is the obvious one. The 'bad weather' passwords are equally valid for school closures for other reasons. Our most local station has it all set up so that we can register the closure and subsequent updates online, we don't even have to phone in.
For emergency closures, we are present doing
1) School website
2) Local Radio
3) Parent Mail
Someone said they used twitter in the snow a few months back. I was going to look into this.
5th May 2009, 07:34 PM #11
School website and a TXT to all parents, sixth form and staff notifying them of school closures and a follow up TXT the next day if the school is still closed or now open.
We send our TXT messages through schoolcomms.
6th May 2009, 12:23 PM #12
Have a look at teachers2parents.
It is web-based, so people can access it at home. Out of all of the options I have seen it works out cheaper. We are giving it a 1 month trial here at the moment and it is absolutely fantastic!
6th May 2009, 12:47 PM #13
What's your method of keeping that list of text numbers up to date?
Originally Posted by Sylv3r
6th May 2009, 07:57 PM #14
It pulls the information from SIMS. The numbers are generally kept up to date via a rolling data collection task throughout the year as well as parents more often than not contact the school if their details change.
Originally Posted by SteveBentley
We are now doing first day response via TXT messaging and the parents are really happy with it.
6th May 2009, 08:49 PM #15
We have phone trees for our kids as well. The person in the middle and end of each list phones us to say they have the received the information, so we know if a link breaks. We also have a recorded info line that I update every morning. But one flake of snow and the phones go manic!!!
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