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4e57e973d7732 Connect-Ed

School Messenger


School Messenger is a powerful, effective, and efficient communications tool that lets CUSD 115 share all manner of district and building-level information through recorded telephone messages and e-mails.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the School Messenger system:

Q: What does School Messenger do?
A: School Messenger is a computerized “phone tree” system capable of sending messages to tens of thousands of phone numbers and e-mail addresses in minutes. Calls can be sorted by gender, building, grade, language, students/staff members, and special user groups.

Q: Where does School Messenger's data come from?
A: School Messengeruses the district's student/staff member database as its database. This is why it is essential that parents and staff members notify their school(s) and/or Human Resources when they change phone numbers. If the information is wrong in the database, it will be wrong in School Messenger.

Q: Will School Messenger call me at work?
A: ONLY in case of emergencies, unless you have designated your work number as your “primary” phone number.  School Messenger makes two kinds of calls:
• Non-Emergency calls go only to the primary number designated in the student/staff member data base. This is almost always the home number, or whatever number the family uses its “main contact number.
• Emergency calls go to every number and e-mail address in the student/staff member database.  This can be up to six numbers and two e-mail addresses per student.
These numbers can include work, cell phones, alternate numbers, etc. at the
family's discretion.
***The staff member database includes only one number for staff members.  This can be home or cell.

Q: What is considered an “emergency”?
A: For CUSD 115, an “emergency is anything that significantly affects normal school operations during the school day – for example, a school evacuation that requires sending students home early, or a major traffic issue that significantly delays students getting home on time. Both would be considered “emergencies,” because many parents are at work during the school day, may have to make alternate arrangements because of the change in school schedule, etc. Such incidents would justify CUSD 115 placing an “emergency” School Messenger call to all phone numbers and e-mail addresses in the system.

Q: Is bad weather considered an emergency?
A: Not usually.  Typical Midwestern weather that happens before school starts is not considered an emergency.  For snow, for example, the district makes a “nonemergency” call by 6 a.m. To the “primary” Phone number and e-mail address for each student/staff member. However, if bad weather occurs and becomes bad enough during the school day to impact normal school operations, the district would make an “emergency” call to all phone numbers and e-mail address in the system.

Q: We use a cell phone as our home phone. Can I choose to have a cell phone as my “primary” number?
A: Yes.  Many families are using cell phones now as their home phones. School Messenger does not know the difference. It calls whatever number is shown in the database as the “primary” phone number.

Q: My spouse and I are divorced, and we share custody of the children. Can School Messenger call both of our home numbers for non-emergency purposes?
A: No. The system is set up to call only one primary number for non emergencies.

Q: How do I change my/our family's phone number(s)?
A: Students/families: Call your child's school with new phone numbers and other personal information, or submit changes in writing as appropriate, as soon as possible, so that the changes can be made in the student database.
Staff members: call or e-mail the the Human Resources department to update your personal contact information.

Q: Does School Messenger replace any of the district's other means of communication?
A: No. If you expect, but do not receive a School Messenger call, you should still check the CUSD 115 website, listen to local and regional radio stations, and watch the Chicago television stations for CUSD 115 information.

Q: Sometimes the School Messenger call seems to “skip”, or stop and not start, or not start at all. Is the system broken?
A: No. School Messenger uses sophisticated, sensitive “voice recognition” software that listens for a human voice to answer the call. Sometimes the computer hears background noises – pets, children, or the television for example. The computer thinks it has heard another greeting, gets
“confused”, and re-starts the message. This happens rarely. Yet it points up the importance of also including your e-mail address in the student database, so that you can also receive and see the text of each call.

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