In our effort to improve communication between parents and school, on November 1, 2013 the Ishpeming Public School District will be implementing a telephone broadcast system that will enable school personnel to notify all households and parents by phone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes early dismissal, school cancellation or late start. The service may also be used from time-to-time to communicate general announcements or reminders. This service is provided by SchoolReach, a company specializing in school-to-parent communications. We will continue to report school closings due to snow or weather on WJPD, WZAM, WKQS, WHWL, WMQT, WNMU, WFXD, WGLQ, WLUC TV-6, and WBKP 5 and 10 and will use this system as an overlay to the public announcements.
When used, the service will call all phone numbers in our selected parent contact lists and will deliver a recorded message from a school administrator. The service will deliver the message to both live answer and answering machines. No answers (phones ringing over 40 sec.) and busies will be automatically retried twice in fifteen minute intervals after the initial call.
Along with the phone call, a text message (to detected cell phone) and an e-mail will be sent out. To stop text messages please reply STOP to the message you received. Calls, text messages, and e-mail will be sent to the numbers and addresses on file with the school. If you need to add or update these numbers or addresses, please contact the building secretary.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
1) This requires NO registration by the parent on the SchoolReach website.
2) All information and contact numbers are strictly secure and confidential and are only used for the purposes described herein.
Here is some specific information you should know:
- Caller ID: The Call ID will display [906-485-5501], which is the main number for our District.
- Live Answers: There is a short pause at the beginning of the message, usually a few seconds. Answer your phone as you normally would; “hello” and hold for the message to begin. Multiple “hellos” will delay the message. Inform all family members who may answer your phone of this process.
- Answering Machines: The system will detect that your machine has answered and will play the recording to your machine. The phone will ring for up to 40 seconds. Make sure that your machine answers after four rings or you may miss the message.
- Message Repeat: At the end of the message you will be prompted to ‘press any key’ to hear the message again. This is very helpful when a child answers the phone and hands it to a parent, who can then ‘repeat’ the message in its entirety.
- Lunch Balances: You will be notified each Friday that your child’s lunch balance is less than $0. To minimize these calls and messages, please make sure there are adequate funds available in your student’s lunch account.
If you have any questions, please contact Jason Annala, Technology Director, at 906-485-5501 ext. 124.
SchoolReach, the service provider, uses the best available technology in the industry to detect the difference between human answer and machine or voicemail answer.
Here’s how detection works:
- The system detects and measures the voice energy when the phone is answered.
- The system measures this energy in combination with the background noise and line impairments.
- If the system determines that it is a “live” answer, it will immediately start playing the message.
- If the system determines that it is a machine, it will wait for three full seconds of silence before playing the message with a maximum wait time of twenty seconds.
- If the system cannot make a determination, it will default to answering machine thus requiring several seconds of silence for the message to play. In this case, you may hear a prompt to “press any key to hear the message immediately.”
Some reasons for false detection:
- Loud background noise; television, radio, general noisy environment.
- A cordless phone that has static or other foreign noise.
- Not saying “hello” or repeatedly saying “hello”.
- Cellular phones which, when called, have the ‘ringback tones’ music option.
- Answering machine/voice mail greetings which are too long or have long pauses in speech.
What can be done to remedy this?
- Do not say “hello” more than once. If the system detected your answer incorrectly, all noise will reset the three-second counter.
- If, after you answer, the message does not immediately play, cover the mouthpiece of the phone to cutout all background noise. The message should begin after three seconds.
Please make every effort to provide the school with current and accurate phone information any time there is a change to ensure that you do not miss important information.
SchoolReach Parents App
The SchoolReach Parents App for IPhone and Android users, offers the most secure solution available on the market today. Your families will have quick control over contact information and messages right in the palm of their hands. They will no longer have to call the school to ensure the replication of changes in your student database. Our unique process ensures that every change comes directly from the parents. School officials are immediately notified of every change and you don’t have to sacrifice the integration between your database and your notification system.
- Manage multiple schools and students at once
- Review, edit and save all contact information
- Control Voice, Text and Email preferences
- Make instant “Opt In/Opt Out” elections
- Have easy & convenient 24/7/365 access
- Listen to all previous voice messages
- Review all previous text messages
- Uncompromising Security
What to do if you think you’ve missed a SchoolReach voice message.
If you ever feel you may have missed a SchoolReach voice message or just want to check to be sure, you can dial our Message Retrieval Line. From whichever phone(s) you want to check for messages to, dial toll-free: 855-955-8500 and follow the prompts to hear any/all messages sent through SchoolReach over the last 30 days. Please contact the school if you suspect your phone number is not being called by the system or if you ever have a change of number.
In an important effort to make the best and most accurate use of the SchoolReach Instant Parent Contact system, we are asking that you fill out the following form with the requested necessary information (See next page). After filling this out for each of your children that attend our school please double check for accuracy and return it to us promptly. Thank You.