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posted Mar 20, 2018, 8:53 AM by lkoller@mtephraimschools.com

I am sure some of you are familiar with the REMIND app that many of our teachers are using to contact their students' parents.  I have been using this same app to communicate with district staff as well as the Board of Education about inner-district issues.  REMIND has proven to be a very efficient way to get out short messages to people who need information. 

Calling a delayed opening or a school closing is a complicated process. The most difficult part is actually making the decision!  But once that part is over I begin an extensive sequence of events to make sure all relevant parties receive the information they need as soon as possible - and in the correct order.  I have to contact: the Borough, BOE, administrators, staff, parents, Audubon PS, and County.  I disseminate the information in a variety of ways including personal phone calls, text messages, emails, phone app messages and posts, Facebook and website posts, phone blasts, email blasts, and TV channel Internet log-ins.  While I am going through these steps I need to remain conscious of this sequence because it has been my experience that if some parents get the news via the source they regularly rely upon before their neighbors get the information via their relied-upon source, things can get a little critical :-).

The School Messenger phone blast is the most comprehensive method of ensuring all parents get needed information because the phone number identified with each registered student is automatically included in the School Messenger phone blast system.  Every parent/guardian receives a phone blast, but through OnCourse Connect, each parent/guardian can individually choose whether they want to also receive text message blasts and email blasts as well. Unfortunately putting out a phone  blast is the most complicated of all my communication methods even when the technology cooperates.  When the technology does not cooperate, the process is delayed even further.  This is why I usually save the phone blast for last in my sequence.  If I do the phone blast first and run into technology problems, all of the other communications get held up.

Because REMIND is so quick and easy to use, I usually send REMIND messages to my text groups first before working through the rest of the communication methods on my list.  I currently have BOE and staff REMIND text groups.  I would like to try using REMIND to create a text group for parents.  I will continue to disseminate information using the School Messenger phone and email blast processes, and all of the other methods of communication I listed above, however, I would like to try also using REMIND for parents.  On one hand, adding REMIND adds yet another step in my process.  On the other hand, it is a very quick step that I believe will expedite the distribution of information to our largest constituency.

I say let's try it and see how it works.  Again, phone blasts, Facebook posts, website notifications, etc. will still take place.  But parents who sign-up for my REMIND Parent Text Group will receive information about district rescheduling very early in the process and this can only help you to better plan.

That was a long story to get to the point (but parents knowing the process can never hurt).  If you would like to sign-up for my REMIND Parent Text Group, please click on the link directly below or see attachment for alternate instructions.  Looks like I will be putting this new method of communication to use sooner rather than later.

To sign up for MEPS Parents 2017-18 notifications, please visit  https://www.remind.com/join/mepspa

Alternate instructions appear on the attachment to this email:   

Mar 20, 2018, 8:53 AM