Blackboard Inc. Brings Community Messaging Service to Canadian School District


Blackboard Inc. has announced that it has been selected by the Lester B. Pearson School Board in Quebec, Canada to help improve parent and community outreach with the Connect-ED multi-modal mass notification and alert service.

The Blackboard Connect platform will be used to inform parents, students and staff members of school closures and contingency plans due to unforeseen incidents, as well as other important school and student announcements such as attendance issues. The service will improve time-sensitive communication and help prevent the spread of misinformation at Quebec’s largest English speaking school board, which is home to nearly 30,000 students.

The Blackboard Connectplatform has been successfully leveraged by schools and districts covering more than 12 million K-12 students and staff members in the United States, keeping parents informed of important events in their child’s education from bus route announcements and delays to school breaks and registration days. The Connect platform can be used to quickly reach thousands of recipients through a variety of channels, and is used by colleges and universities, federal agencies, military organizations and state and local governments in addition to K-12 schools and districts.

“It’s crucial that we are able to notify parents quickly in time-sensitive situations because up-to-date and uniform communication is conducive to an informed and engaged school community,” said Marcus Tabachnick, Chairman of the Board.

“We are honored to partner with the Lester B. Pearson School Board, a visionary school board that is committed to providing high quality education in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Tom Motter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Blackboard Connect. “We look forward to exchanging communication best practices for improved student achievement and parental engagement.”

With the Blackboard Connectplatform, parents will be able to receive important messages directly from their school through the lines of communication that are easiest for them, including home phones, cell phones and other mobile devices and email. The service will also be used to improve attendance and truancy issues by alerting parents in a timely manner.

“We recognize how important parental engagement is in the overall success of our students,” said Robert Mills, Director General at Lester B. Pearson. “With Blackboard Connect, we will be able to quickly communicate with parents and students to enhance ongoing outreach initiatives with our entire school community that help support our overall mission and direction.”

Drawing on the experience gained in delivering hundreds of millions of messages for K-12 organizations, the Blackboard Connectservice enables school leaders to schedule, send and track personalized voice messages at up to six phone numbers and two e-mail addresses per student and staff member. To ensure that important messages reach residents, students and parents quickly, regardless of their location or preferred method of communication, the Blackboard Connectplatform sends voice and text messages through four different modes of communication:

  • Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones and e-mail addresses;
  • Text messages to cell phones, PDAs, networked digital signage and other text-based devices;
  • Text messages to e-mail accounts; and
  • Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired.

The Blackboard Connectplatform allows officials to send an unlimited number of messages, requires no additional hardware, and can be used from any computer with Internet access or telephone. This ensures that administrators can send vital messages from wherever they are located-even if they are evacuated. Additionally, officials receive detailed reports on contacts that did not receive a message, enabling them to follow up through alternative means as needed.The publicly traded company offers shares on the Nasdaq market using the ticker BBBB.For more information about Blackboard Connect solutions, click here.

For additional information, click here.

Blackboard Inc. February 2009 press release.

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