As the temperature drops lower and lower each day, and a chance of snow is more likely then a chance of rain, school districts in Missouri are preparing for the winter and the snow days that come with it. District letters are being sent out to students to notify their parents about what should happen if there should be a snow day and where to look for school closings.
In the Francis Howell School District, teachers and students would normally have to look on the Internet or watch the news to find out if school is closed or not, but this year, the district has purchased a new program called “SchoolMessenger.” This program is a new way to notify parents of snow days as well as students attendance.
SchoolMessenger notifies teachers, parents and students of snow days via text, email or most commonly, by phone. This new program works by calling either parent’s house phones or cell phones with a prerecorded message notifying the students and parents that there will not be school due to bad weather. Parents can listen to the options and choose to talk to a principal at the school or find out more information about the school closing.
“As soon as the Superintendent makes the decision of school being closed, parents will receive a call from SchoolMessenger letting them know,” said Assistant Principal David Stofer “[They] also [receive] a call at 10 p.m. the night before, which is better then waking up early to watch the t.v. to see if school is out or not. This program gives parents and students an easier way of finding out if school is closed at a much more convenient time.”
Most districts are switching to this new way of notifying people of school closings, attendance, key events and reminders.
“Our school has added many new programs this year to keep up with the constantly changing technology and to make things as easy as possible for parents and teachers,” said junior Lauren McDaniel. “This program is new, and I think it’s going to take some getting used to because the school doesn't normally send your phone texts, or call you to tell you about snow days. Everyone is used to turning on the news and watching, but overall, I think it’s a good program.”
“As a parent, I love it. My kids are in the Rockwood School District which has had something similar to this program for a little while now,” Stofer said. “When the phone rings they jump up excited to see if there is school or not, and this is a lot easier then watching the scrolling box that has every district on it just to see one school closing.”
This new program is said to start second semester. Also, a district email or phone call was sent out Nov. 15 with information on the program. To find out more about SchoolMessenger or to update contact information visit http://www.fhsdschools.org/Home/SchoolMessenger/tabid/487/Default.aspx.