Sunday, November 22, 2015

Testing the School Messenger Alert System

With winter weather surely headed our way, I think it is time to test our School Messenger Alert System.

​If severe weather causes me to delay or cancel school, I will contact parents with a phone message and text message. I have sent ​those messages on Sunday, November 22​ to test the system. Parents, please make sure that you received those message​s.

If you did not get the phone message or the phone message went to the wrong number, you can fix this in two ways.

  1. Log onto PowerSchool, click on Demographic Change, and type in the preferred number as your "Primary School Messenger Alert Phone.​"​
  2. Call or visit the main office at your child's school and provide them with your preferred number.

​P​lease note that ​you will need to make this change for each child in your family.​ I will be calling just the ​Primary​ School Messenger Alert Phone for weather delays​ and cancellations​. Only in an urgent emergency would I send messages to all of the phone​ numbers we have on record for parents.  The call will come from this number - (855) 344-6323.​ You may want to ​store this number ​in your caller ID to remember that it is really from the Bedford School District's Alert System.

If you did not get a text message and you would like to get one,​ log onto PowerSchool, click on Demographic Change, and ​make sure the correct cell phone number is included. Once that is complete, text "yes" to 68453.

​Finally, I want to review the process I will follow to make the decision regarding delaying or cancelling school due to weather.
  • I consider variables including the state of the roads and school campuses, the number of power outages, and the upcoming weather predictions. 
  • I ​consult with with the Bedford Police, the Bedford Department of Public Works, our bus company, and our maintenance director. I also talk with a weather service and superintendents in other districts. 
  • I try to balance the needs of families to know sooner rather than later with the need to get accurate weather forecasting information, which changes frequently. I plan on deciding in the morning to post the decision by 5:30 and make the phone call to parents by 6:00 AM. I know families really appreciate knowing the night before so I try to do that, if possible. 
​Here is looking to a lot of Saturday afternoon ​snowstorms this winter!

Chip McGee, Superintendent of Schools

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