The Warren County School District's board of directors is considering the restoration of a mass communication system aimed at improving school-to-parent communication.
Following a recommendation from its Finance Committee, the board of directors will be deciding whether to sign a service agreement with One Call Now Inc. to provide a blast communication system to the district.
The system would allow the district to send bulk phone calls, text messages and emergency communications to all contact numbers associated with students and personnel. The move would automate the process of calling all contact numbers in an emergency and provide a convenient channel to disseminate information school- or district-wide.
"Parents, principals and teachers have all requested that the service be restored," District Director of Administrative Support Services Amy Stewart said. "It was very helpful in improving parent/school communication. In addition, dollars can be saved on postage when messages are delivered this way."
According to the recommended agreement, "For emergency or lockdown calls, One Call Now will dial all (contact) numbers for every student and staff member within 30 minutes for an entire district and 10 minutes for any single school. For inclement weather delays or closings, One Call Now will dial the primary number for every student and staff member within 45 minutes."
District-issued text messages, the agreement says, will be sent within ten minutes.
The service would be implemented district-wide and all schools would have access to the system individually.
"Each of our schools will have the ability to use the system," Stewart said. "The system is also helpful to relay district-wide messages."
The system would be capable of storing up to six contacts for each student or staff member.
The One Call Now agreement provides the district with the ability to utilize "do not call" numbers and e-mails. Implementation and maintenance of a "do not call" list is left up to the district.
The system is also capable of providing a contact management portal for parents to manage their contact information on the district's website.
If approved, the system would lock in an annual service fee of $7,768.32 for three years, with $7,616 of that total for the service and a $152.32 regulatory recovery fee. With an anticipated enrollment of 4,760 students this school year, the number provided by the district for the agreement, the service fee represents a cost of $1.60 per student.
According to Stewart, "District funds were budgeted for this expenditure."
The three-year agreement would still require yearly budget approval. No penalty would be assessed if the district withdrew from the contract early by not budgeting for the system.