Illinois District Deploying Emergency Notification
According to coverage in the Schaumburg Review, Elementary School District 54 (Illinois) has contracted to deploy AlertNow from Safe-T-Net. The service provides the district with a way to call parents in the event of an emergency.
The article quoted school board president Charlotte Kegarise as saying, "The program we signed on for dials (phone numbers) until it reaches someone."
First, the district or school sets up distribution groups, such as the entire student population, a classroom, a bus route or teacher. Then an authorized administrator, such as a school principal or communications officer, can record and send a message with a phone call or by using a Web-based interface. The user decides who to send the message to, what content should be included and when the message should be distributed. The message can be broadcasted to landline phones, mobile phones or email addresses.
According to the newspaper coverage, the service can make 6,000 automated calls per minute. At that rate, said district spokeswoman Terri McHugh, it would take about five minutes to reach everybody in the district.
The IT department evaluated multiple companies that provide alert notification services, but ruled out several because of the way they handle data transfer.
AlertNow is being used by a number of schools and districts, including Miami Country Day School in Florida, Centreville School in Delaware, and Burke County Public Schools in Morganton, NC.
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