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Emergency Notification System
Important details and frequently asked questions.
  
What is SchoolMessenger?

SchoolMessenger enables school administration to efficiently communicate with our families via an automated system. The primary uses of the system will be to notify you of delayed openings, early dismissals, school closings, and emergencies. This will enable the district to disseminate information to each of our families in the most time efficient manner possible in a variety of methods - including phone calls, email, and text message.

How will the system be used?

  • School Closings/Delayed Openings/Early Dismissals – In addition to using SchoolMessenger for this purpose, the district will continue to communicate school closing announcements via our website, Lower Providence Township Community Access Channel 27 (Comcast Cable) and KYW NewsRadio 1060AM (school closing number 316).
  • Important Communications
    In the event that a school bus should run late, an event should be rescheduled at the last minute or other critical information should need to be conveyed to parents as soon as possible, and we cannot be reasonably assured that families will receive the information by e-mail in enough time should action be required on the part of the parent, a call will be placed to the contacts you designate within the system.  In some situations, an e-mail will be sufficient.  Cancellation of after school activities and events re-scheduled days in advance are examples.
  • Emergency
    In extreme emergency situations, the message may provide critical information and/or emergency instructions. Messages of this nature will be distributed to all available contacts entered into the system.
  • Attendance
    Methacton will also begin using SchoolMessenger to place safe-at-home and attendance calls. 
What is the difference between SchoolMessenger and E-Alerts?
 
SchoolMessenger is the district's rapid calling and emergency notification system described here. Communications of a routine nature are not conveyed with the use of SchoolMessenger.  E-Alerts are generated by many of the groups and staff members editing the District's website, and often contain information of a routine nature. Examples include home and school fundraisers and events, volunteer sign up opportunities, notifications of important information added to the website, messages from teachers and daily informational newsletters.  You must subscribe to receive E-Alerts, and more information can be found here.  All district families are automatically enrolled in SchoolMessenger. This system generates messages by e-mail and sometimes phone calls as well, E-Alerts are only sent by e-mail.  Home and School Association communications are only sent by E-Alert.  
 
How do I update my contact information if there is a change?
 
You can utilize SchoolMessenger's Contact Manager to manage your contact information. You will be unable to edit the first number listed, this is the home phone number you established in our district's student accounting database. If this number is wrong, please contact your building secretary to have it updated. 
 
Will my children automatically be advanced a grade and moved from the elementary school lists to Skyview, Arcola and MHS as they progress through Methacton?
 
Yes.  These changes will be made automatically.
 
What do I do if I think a call was placed, but I didn't get one?
 
Not all calls generated with SchoolMessenger are sent to all families.  Often, information is only sent to those directly affected.  For example, if a field trip bus is expected to return late to an elementary school, only those families whose children are on that bus would be contacted.  If one of our schools has an emergency, a call may only be generated to the families of students in that school, but an e-mail might be sent to all families so that everyone has the benefit of accurate information about an emergency.  In most circumstances, duplicate information will be on the District's homepage within minutes of the SchoolMessenger system activation.  If you believe you were missed, go to the website first to get accurate information.  If you do not have access to the Internet, call the District office or your school at 610-489-5000.  After you receive the information you need, log onto SchoolMessenger's Contact Manager to be sure that your phone numbers an e-mail addresses are accurate. 
 
I received an e-mail, but no phone call - was I missed?
 
Probably not.  Not all situations will warrant a phone call.  District administration will make the determination as to when to make calls and when to send e-mails only.  
 
I have an extension at work, can I add that number to SchoolMessenger?
 
The SchoolMessenger system can only accept direct dial numbers. Check with your employer to determine if you have a direct dial number in addition to your extension.
 
Other Important Details:
  1. Your caller ID will display your the district's main number, 610-489-5000, anytime a call is coming through from the school. Caller ID will not display a name associated with the number.
  2. Your caller ID will display 411 anytime an emergency call is coming through from the school. Caller ID will not display a name associated with the number.
  3. The system will leave a message on your voicemail or answering machine. If you have a Privacy Director on your telephone lines you may not receive the call. For example, with Privacy Director all incoming calls are rerouted and the callers must identify themselves for the call to go through. Because our system is automated it will not identify itself thus the call will not get through to your number.

You may contact Kathy Kifer in the Office of School and Community Information at 610-489-5000, ext. 15007, or e-mail kkifer@methacton.org with questions.
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