School District of Superior Expands Parent Notification Program Through SchoolMessenger Partnership

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District places a premium on direct-to-parent communications for the 2007-2008 school year.

The School District of Superior today announced that it has expanded its parent notification program for the 2007-2008 school year. The district's goals are two-fold: 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.

By partnering with SchoolMessenger, a leading U.S. parental notification company, the district has expanded a pilot program that was put in place and tested in April. The new service allows the district to communicate quickly and effectively with parents, day or night, in any language using voice messages or email.

If an emergency occurs on one of its eight school campuses, massive calling capabilities are now in place to 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 a Web-based system 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 the flow of communication between our schools and home," said Jay Mitchell, superintendent of the School District of Superior. "Studies show that when notification solutions are used in schools, parents feel more involved in their child's education, they report improved peace of mind and attendance rates increase. In today's connected world, parents have 24/7 access to news and information, and they 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. Each family receives two emergency contacts that will be notified with school activities and alerts. Database records for each of its nearly 5,000 students are automatically, regularly updated so that if an incident occurs, the district is always emergency-ready. If at any time contact information within a family changes, parents are asked 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 use, school administrators will save countless hours of staff time when communicating ongoing, routine alerts and events. In addition, if an emergency occurs, district officials can deliver a clear message quickly and reliably to provide valuable insight on the situation, and to dispel the spread of misinformation."

The district's 2007-2008 notification plan includes the following schools: Bryant Elementary, Cooper Elementary, Four Corners Elementary, Great Lakes Elementary, Lake Superior Elementary, Northern Lights Elementary, Superior Middle School and Superior High School. 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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