The Times Journal & Russell County News
Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
Get online news updates FREE - Subscribe:  [?]
Google

New system warns parents when school will be out
In Jan. 14 Issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Reporter

With Russell County Schools closing last Thursday and Friday and the first three days of this week due to the wintry weather, school officials implemented their new automated notification system. This system sent a voice message to parents, students and all school employees telling them of the closures.

"We've been working on and off for six to eight months on this venture," said Supt Scott Pierce. "We've been making test calls for some time."

Pierce said that with the help of the district's IT personnel, Chris Bell, Michael Ford and others, the School Messenger system worked flawlessly in its first few days of use.

Ford and Bell said that within 30 minutes, the emergency package portion of the notification system had called 3,400 people to let them know of the cancellations.

School officials can even watch online and monitor the calls, even seeing when calls go answered, unanswered or voice mails are taken.

The idea of the system is so that parents, students and school personnel be notified of a closure in a timely, courteous and convenient manner, Ford said.

All student contact numbers are automatically included in the system as well as their emergency contacts or pick-up contacts.

These numbers, too, will be called in the event of a closure, Pierce said.

He said that anyone wishing to not receive the automated calls, contact the school or board to have their number removed from the calling list.

"Anyone can opt out," Pierce said. We've had some people do that and that is understandable."

If anyone is not receiving the calls and wants to, they should call their school and let them know so the problem can be corrected.

Bell and Ford also said that if a home phone number or cell phone number changes, to let the schools know and the system can be updated accordingly.

"To me the feedback has been positive," Pierce said. He said numerous people have told him of how useful the automated calling system was the past few days.

Pierce said the school district's policy is to notify folks of a cancellation as soon as the decision is made and sometimes that means waiting until morning to make the calls.

"Our transportation people will look at the situations and when a decision is made, they'll contact us and we'll contact the system," Pierce said.

Usually, several transportation officials get out early in the morning if no decision has been made and drive around to different parts of the county, looking for icy roads or other hazards that would make it unsafe for students to attend school or buses to travel.

Once a decision is made they report the results to the superintendent who then, along with other officials, decides whether to cancel class or not. Now, the automated call system will also be notified and voice messages sent out.

But the system doesn't have to be used just for snow cancellations.

"It can be expanded at some point and time," Pierce said.

The system can also be used when closure due to sickness or other types of cancellation causes.

Individual call lists can also be implemented, school officials said.

"We're just using the emergency package now," Bell said.

He and Ford said student groups such as the band, athletic teams, academic teams, clubs and others can also be contacted by the system with information if the specific group's leadership chooses to go that route.

The system will also e-mail parents and school personnel who have listed their e-mail address with the school's contact information.

Content Management Powered by CuteNews
SUBSCRIBE to The Times Journal: CLICK HERE

SPONSORED LINKS


Publish Yourself PUBLISH YOURSELF
You can publish news about your group or organization directly to our site, using your computer.
CLICK HERE
Laker Band LAKER BAND
Visit the award-winning official web site for the Russell County Marching Band.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland Web Cams LIVE WEB CAMS
Views of Lake Cumberland as it is right now, from a number of web cams.
CLICK HERE
Lake Cumberland LAKE CUMBERLAND
lakecumberland.com
Official site for Lake Cumberland with everything for the lake visitor and fisherman.
CLICK HERE
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
-
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
-
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
Publisher:
David Davenport
(publisher@tjrcn.com)
Managing Editor:
Greg Wells
(editor@tjrcn.com)
News & Sports Editor:
Derek Aaron
(sports@tjrcn.com)
Advertising Manager:
Stephanie Smith
(ads@tjrcn.com)
Business Manager:
Kim Haydon
(business@tjrcn.com)
Production Manager:
Renee Daffron
(people@tjrcn.com)
Jamestown Office:
Kim Graham
(rcnoffice@tjrcn.com)
PUBLIC MEETINGS
Members of the public may attend meetings. Boards or agencies may schedule other meetings at special times, but are required to notify the public.
FISCAL COURT: 2nd Monday of month, 6 p.m. in the Courthouse
RUSSELL SPRINGS CITY: 2nd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in the City Hall Municipal Room
JAMESTOWN CITY: 3rd Thursday of month, 6 p.m. in basement meeting room at City Hall
SCHOOL BOARD: 3rd Monday of month, 6:30 p.m., Board of Education office in Jamestown
LIBRARY BOARD: 2nd Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Jamestown Library
AIRPORT BOARD: 1st Tuesday of month, 5 p.m. at Airport
TOURISM COMMISSION: 2nd Wednesday of month, 12:30 p.m. at Tourism Office
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: 3rd Tuesday of month, noon at The Cove restaurant
LOCAL & AREA
NEWS SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.
Laker Country WJRS
(Russell Springs)
lakercountry.com/
WKYM-1017 (Monticello)
wkym.com/
Adair Progress (Columbia)
adairprogress.com/
Casey County News (Liberty)
caseynews.net/
Clinton County News (Albany)
clintonnews.net/
Cumberland County News (Burkesville)
burkesville.com/ccn/
Wayne County Outlook (Monticello)
wcoutlook.com/
Somerset
Commonwealth-Journal
somerset-kentucky.com/
Danville
Advocate-Messenger
amnews.com/
Lexington Herald-Leader
kentucky.com/
Louisville Courier-Journal
courier-journal.com/
WKYT-TV, Lexington
wkyt.com/
WBKO-TV, Bowling Green
wbko.com/
USEFUL SITES
The links below open new windows. We are not responsible for the content of the sites.

RUSSELL CO. OFFICIALS
RUSSELL COUNTY SCHOOLS
RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY

LAKE CUMBERLAND
STATE RESORT PARK
TV LISTINGS:
Choose your service and provider
SOMERSET MOVIE SHOWTIMES

.