Parental Notification Service Provides Instant H1N1 Updates to Parents

COLUMBIA, Mo.

Parents of school-aged children in every public and nonpublic school throughout
Missouri will be able to receive instant updates about the H1N1 (Swine) flu as a
result of a new, free service provided by the Missouri School Boards`
Association in collaboration with SchoolReach, a St. Louis-based
school-to-parent notification and communications company. The service is
available now to schools that do not already have an alert notification in place
for parents.

“We`re delighted to partner with SchoolReach to offer this service, which willenable every school district and private school in the state to contact parentsabout H1N1 issues immediately,” says MSBA Executive Director Dr. Carter Ward.“Effective and timely communication will be vital for schools and communities asthey cope with a possible flu outbreak in the coming weeks. This service is animportant tool in that effort.”

Ward added that he knows of no other state in the nation that has developed asimilar service to help schools communicate quickly with parents regarding theH1N1 flu.

The service has been developed by SchoolReach, MSBA`s partner in the area ofparental notification services for schools. SchoolReach is the educationmarketing and service division of GroupCast, LLC. Headquartered in St. Louis,GroupCast provides hosted (or web-based) phone, email and text message broadcastsolutions.

Missouri`s Office of Homeland Security was consulted by MSBA prior to announcingthe new, free service. The Office voiced strong support for the capability ofschool officials to effectively communicate with all parents on issues relatingto H1N1. Missouri`s Office of Homeland Security has partnered with MSBA andSchoolReach to allow the Department of Public Safety to contact school officialsin an emergency using the same technology at no cost. State officials have usedthis system to alert schools to changing pandemic flu guidelines for schoolclosings.

For schools that use the new, free service, messages will be limited to thosethat involve information about the H1N1 flu. Some restrictions apply and schoolsare encouraged to pre-register with SchoolReach prior to need. School officialscan learn more about the service including information on how to sign up at www.msbanet.org.

Tagged with: Pandemic

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