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New in 2013-14...
District introduces new emergency telephone notification system for parents: One Call Now

Aug. 22, 2013—Beginning in the new school year, Guilderland Central School District officials will be able to contact all district parents in case of emergency with just a push of a button through the One Call Now telephone alert system. This is the first time the district has partnered with such a company to provide nearly instantaneous telephone notification in the event of school closings and delays, early dismissals, or other emergency situations.

“This is a very important step for our district to take,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles. “Not only will the system be invaluable on days when school schedules are affected by the weather but it will also be a critical tool for school leaders to reach out to parents should an emergency situation ever arise in our buildings.”

All GCSD parents with students currently registered in school have already been automatically entered into the One Call Now calling system based on contact information contained in the district’s student management system, SchoolTool. Parents do not need to sign-up for this service.

Parents should know that the One Call Now system will only be used in case of school closures, delays, or other serious emergencies. Parents will not receive phone calls about fundraisers or other school events that do not impact the regularly scheduled school day.

“Our hope is to use the system as little as possible, meaning, that we will make it through the school year with minimal changes to the scheduled school day and without any serious incidents,” said Wiles. “However, if and when those situations do occur, we are confident that we will now be able to reach all district parents in a timely and efficient manner.”

A test run of the service took place last spring, when a power outage at Lynnwood Elementary forced an unexpected closure at the school. Using the One Call Now system, the district was able to deliver more than 1,500 messages about the closure to school parents and staff. The majority of those messages were received by users within the first 15 minutes of distribution.

“One Call Now is an investment in the safety and security of our students and schools,” said Wiles. “With nearly 5,000 students in seven school buildings, the system also provides peace of mind for our parents. They can be reassured that the district now has a quick, easy and reliable method of mass communication between our schools and home in the event of a true emergency.”