After several successful test runs of the Hannibal Central School District’s new emergency communication system, the notification tool has gone live.
The system, Global Connect, uses cloud-based technology that allows the district to call, email or text important information to parents, staff, board members and others.
It can hold up to five different contacts per person. Officials explored a variety of options to provide immediate communication with families when issues arise, and Global Connect was selected to provide the mass communication service that the district was seeking.
“The way we’re going to start using it is as just a mass communication system, just in case there’s a school closing or emergency situation or if we wanted to notify people of anything that is coming up at the school,” said the district’s director of technology, Matt Dean. “It’s more of an emergency notification tool than something for daily announcements.”
Test calls went out to administrators, staff and parents/guardians in late November.
All parents/guardians who are listed as a student’s emergency contact person should have received a telephone test call during the week of Nov. 25, according to Dean.
Those who did not receive a call are asked to email their contact information to [email protected]
In addition to districtwide alerts, Global Connect has several other unique attributes, Dean said. “It has the capabilities to notify just the football players if practice times have gone from a 4 p.m. start to a 5 p.m. start, or if it’s changed to a different location,” he said. “As long as the information is in our student information system or is in a spreadsheet I created … and that information is up to date, then they will get a phone call and notification.”
The system can also track calls to see if the call was answered, if a message was left or if a number was invalid. It has the ability to survey each person on the contact list as well.
“The poll question is a nice feature,” Dean said. “We can generate a report and get a printout of how many people answered the question and what their answers were.”
With communication a primary objective of the district, Dean said Global Connect will satisfy that goal, as it provides a mass audience with instantaneous, accurate information – without jeopardizing anyone’s contact information.
“It’s on a secure database and the company doesn’t sell their customers information or anything like that,” Dean said.
For more information on Global Connect and its features, visit www.gc1.com/e/products/parent-notification.