By Ian Hanigan
If you’re an Irvine student, parent or staff member, you probably received a phone message on Monday evening from Superintendent Terry Walker, offering a few welcoming words for the new school year.
That call was made possible by IUSD’s brand new notification system, which allows for near-instantaneous communication with tens of thousands of families via phone calls, emails and text messages.
The system, contracted through a company called SchoolMessenger and set up over the summer, replaces a number of older district tools, including an email listserv and an automated phone-dialer. But the upgrade goes way beyond consolidating existing services. In fact, it represents a quantum leap in school-to-home communication.
Take, for example, the superintendent’s pre-recorded phone message. Whereas the previous auto-dialer would have taken most of the day to deliver one districtwide message, the SchoolMessenger version can send out calls to 40,000-plus families in less than 15 minutes. And because the company uses its own data centers, calls won’t be impacted by local power outages or jammed phone lines.
School and district communications can also target specific households, emails can be translated into each parent’s home language and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be updated automatically. …read more
Read more here: Irvine Unified News