Simplify School Bus Driver Communications with Your School Notification System
By: clientadmin | December 3rd, 2012 | No Comments »
Schools often purchase school notification systems to make tasks such as absentee calls, lunch balance notifications, and school closing notifications easier. With a little bit of creativity, however, they can be used in many different ways.
A great example of this comes from one of our customers in Tennessee. Gary Sharp, director of technology for the Monroe County School District, recently told us that he uses SchoolReach to keep in touch with school bus drivers.
Mr. Sharp explained to us that his district, which maintains 12 different campuses, spreads out across the 4th largest county in the state. In addition, the district relies on many subcontractors around the county to drive buses. “We have 17 different subcontractors who operate our bus lines,” Mr. Sharp told us.
In the past, communicating with the subcontractors could be difficult. Now, with SchoolReach, Mr. Sharp can contact individual groups of bus drivers instantly. “SchoolReach allows us to easily notify drivers about things like scheduled maintenance or school closing changes,” Mr. Sharp said.
This functionality especially comes in handy when bad weather happens. Because of the wide area the district covers and the varying topography (fully one third of district territory is forest land), some schools must be closed while others can remain open. With SchoolReach, Mr. Sharp can easily contact only those drivers affected by closings.
The next time you need to change bus routes, notify bus drivers of school closings, or schedule bus maintenance, try using your school notification system to contact your transportation personnel. Doing so will allow you to save time and communicate with your staff more effectively.
For more ideas on how you can use your school notification system to engage parents, staff, and community members, please click here to download our free “Parent Communication and Beyond” guide.
2nd Annual Biketoberfest at SchoolReach!
By: clientadmin | October 29th, 2012 | No Comments »
As the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” and at SchoolReach we take this to heart. This past Friday, SchoolReach hosted our 2nd Annual “Biktoberfest” ride on the Katy Trail from Defiance to Augusta, MO. The 16-mile round trip was joined by a dozen employees who enjoyed the vibrant Autumn colors and braved a steady headwind and brisk cool air to complete the journey. At the turnaround point, we made a stop at the Augusta Brewery where we enjoyed locally brewed craft beers, locally made root beer, sausage, cheese and Missouri wines.
Missouri is blessed with the Katy Trail, which is a bike and walking path that stretches over 237 miles across eastern and central Missouri. The trail was built on the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) railroad bed, which was affectionately known as the “Katy Line” after the “K-T” in the initials. The trail follows much of the Lewis & Clark path along the Missouri river surrounded by bluffs, the wide Missouri river, woodlands, wetlands, rich farm fields and quaint river and railroad towns. Come ride with us next time!
Lockdown Best Practices Helps St. Aloysius Respond to Stranger Danger
By: clientadmin | October 16th, 2012 | No Comments »
In September we hosted our Lockdown Communication Best Practices webinar attended by hundreds of school administrators across the country. One of the attendees, Principal Jean Kennedy of St. Aloysius School in Springfield, IL, had no idea that she would be called upon to use her new lockdown response skills so quickly. Here’s Jean’s story:
I wanted to share that your information from this webinar really helped us last week! I had just reviewed all of the information sent to me after the webinar and on Thursday October 11 we had a strange car driving around and on our campus very slowly. The passenger was videotaping. I was able to pull out your suggested SchoolReach Messages and adapt them to let our parents know that we were locked down and why, and then do a follow up call on Friday to let them know that the person had been apprehended and all was well. I really appreciate the webinar and the information. I am not sure it would have dawned on me to use SchoolReach for this purpose before the webinar. Thank you so much! Jean
The materials from the Lockdown Response & Communications Best Practices webinar included sample messages derived from actual lockdown events. Jean was able save time during a stressful situation by creating her own message using the template messages.
We have had many many requests for a rerun of the Lockdown Response and Communication Best Practices webinar and will be hosting it again on Nov 20th at 1:30 CST. Register here. Gary Sigrist, Jr. will again be our guest speaker!
Jean, we are so happy to hear that our lockdown communication materials were of assistance and that the “stranger danger” situation was peacefully and proactively resolved.
Way to go Jean and St. Aloysius!!
SchoolReach Wins Gold Award on PowerSchool ISV Campaign
By: clientadmin | September 27th, 2012 | No Comments »
SchoolReach was honored with several Targeted Marketing and Advertising (TAM) awards at the St. Louis Business Marketing Association’s annual award ceremony on Tuesday.
Of special note, our efforts to promote our PowerSchool ISV Partner relationship using eye-catching, large-format postcards won a Gold TAM in the direct mail category. We are very proud of our PowerSchool ISV relationship and have worked hard to earn the trust of PowerSchool to attan the ISV designation.
To learn more about the SchoolReach-PowerSchool program, click here.
Our goal through the campaign was to promote our ISV Partner designation to convey the following core benefits:
- PowerSchool/Pearson thoroughly vetted SchoolReach
- SchoolReach offers an embedded launch interface within PowerSchool and seamless data integration.
- SchoolReach offers a full range of voice, email, and text notification solutions, including automated absentee alerts.
We also wanted the campaign to be fun and lighthearted to help draw attention and convey that SchoolReach and PowerSchool “go together.” We used big photos of goofy looking couples to make this point. We know school administrators and tech directors are busy, so it takes something special to capture their attention.
The program worked! We received strong response and were able to engage schools and districts across the country in quality conversations about SchoolReach, with many leading to new customer relationships!
Thank you St. Louis BMA and TAM!!!!
Why does it take a hurricane to justify a school notification system?
By: Paul Langhorst | June 7th, 2012 | No Comments »
In the days leading up to Hurricane Irene we saw a huge uptick in the number of new business inquiries, with most from schools sitting in the potential path of Hurricane Irene. Here’s the odd thing…they all knew the hurricane was coming – for days! The ultimate land fall point was not clear, but at least we had ample warning.
So, if a school notification makes sense for something that you can tell days in advance is coming, why doesn’t it make sense for something that could be equally, if not more devastating, that could happen tomorrow without warning. Why does it take a looming hurricane to cause schools to act?
The chances of a localized power outage, storm, lock down, utility failure, or other school-disrupting incident to impact your school is far greater than a hurricane. So, please, avoid the mad scramble before something happens, or the mad scramble when something unknown happens and equip your school with a parent notification and alert system like SchoolReach.
The cost of such systems these days is ridiculously cheap and the benefits they deliver are simply astounding, with many paying for themselves with just a single use. At less than 1 cent per day per student, it is the best “storm” coverage your school can buy!