Prince George County School District Expands Parent Notification Program for 2007-2008 School Year

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SchoolMessenger partnership enables quick, reliable connections to reach families throughout the district anytime, anywhere.

The Prince George County School District today announced that it has expanded its parent notification program for the 2007-2008 school year. The district, which serves nine schools and more than 6,100 students, has two goals for the program: to reach families quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency, and to improve the overall quality and frequency of communications between its schools and the community.

In July the school board approved a contract with SchoolMessenger, a leading U.S. parental notification company, to provide ongoing communications services. As a result, the district or any individual school can communicate regularly with parents day or night, in any language, using voice messages, email or text messaging. The solution even includes a survey feature that allows officials to query families regarding key issues, and then use that insight to improve programs and services.

If an emergency occurs on any campus in the district, SchoolMessenger's massive calling capabilities will enable thousands of messages to be placed in a matter of minutes. For more routine attendance alerts and community outreach, school or district officials simply access the Web-based service, or call a toll-free number, to send families any number of personalized messages or reminders throughout the school year.

"We want the community to know that we are taking proactive measures to improve communications between our schools and home," said Dr. R. Francis Moore, Superintendent of Prince George County School District. "Whether we are informing parents of an open house, or alerting them to an emergency situation, we want them to rest assured that the district can reach each and every family in a timely, organized manner. In today's connected world, with 24/7 access to news and information, I believe parents expect nothing less from their local schools."

As students bring Emergency Contact forms home this Fall, parents are encouraged to review them carefully to be sure all telephone and email information is up to date and accurate. Two emergency contacts from each family are entered into the notification database, which is automatically, regularly updated throughout the year so that it is always emergency-ready. If at any time contact information changes, parents are advised to notify the school immediately so that records can be updated.

"We want to applaud the district's success in creating an organized, strategic program that places a clear priority on parent communications," said Jim Duggan, Northern Regional Director for SchoolMessenger, a division of Reliance Communications. "By leveraging our notification service, which is designed exclusively for K-12 schools, district and school administrators can save countless hours of staff time and deliver a clear, personalized message to let parents know what's happening on their child's campus."

The district's 2007-2008 emergency plan includes the following schools, located in Prince George County: David A. Harrison Elementary, North Elementary, South Elementary, L.L. Beazley Elementary, W.A. Walton Elementary, J.E. J. Moore Middle School, N.B. Clements Jr. High, Prince George High and Prince George Education Center. All personal information shared between families and the district will remain private, and is protected by multiple layers of data encryption, firewalls and other security measures.

About SchoolMessenger:
SchoolMessenger, a division of Reliance Communications, Inc., is a leading provider of parent notification solutions for education. Its family of products, which include desktop, server and hosted solutions, are in use in more than 6,000 districts and schools, connecting educators with millions of parents everyday. Founded in 1999, the privately-funded company is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. For information, visit http://www.schoolmessenger.com.

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Carleen LeVasseur
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