ST. LOUIS, MO – Aug. 27, 2009 –As part of its commitment to enhance collaborative communication between school administrators and parents, the Archdiocese of Washington has elected to equip all 61 of its elementary schools with the automated telephone and Internet-based parental notification system developed by SchoolReach. Used by over 4,200 schools in 49 states, SchoolReach is the industry’s fastest growing provider of comprehensive emergency notification and general school-to-home communications solutions to public and private schools.
“Over the past 18 months, the Archdiocese of Washington has been reviewing and updating our emergency management and school safety protocols. One critical piece is the adoption of one single comprehensive system to communicate with parents and school personnel quickly and easily. In the past, many of our schools have had to rely on non-tech methods such as ‘phone trees’ and backpack mailings to try to get messages to all of our parents,” said Kelly Branaman, assistant superintendent. “With the addition of SchoolReach, our school administrators will be able to quickly and easily place hundreds of calls instantaneously.”
The popular SchoolReach system provides an effective and affordable way for school officials to send personally recorded messages to parents for emergency alerts and general announcements of timely interest. School administrators simply record a brief message for delivery to an extensive, or selective, list of parents, teachers or students, simultaneously. Greeted by the familiar voice of a school representative, after seeing their school’s Caller ID, parents immediately know that the message is important. The “List-Record-Launch” rapid messaging process takes only minutes for the notification to reach parents.
Replacing older forms of communication such as newsletters, website postings, or the weekly distribution of folders/envelopes, the notification systems are perfect for swiftly communicating with families about crises such as natural disasters or pandemic diseases, and more common disruptions like weather closings, utility failures, and rumors. Administrators can also use notification technology for routine tasks such as issuing grade level announcements, messages about sports team events, and meeting or tuition reminders.
"Schools struggle with ‘immediate, same day, or night-before’ notices to parents,” said Paul Langhorst, vice president of operations at GroupCast, SchoolReach’s parent company. “SchoolReach fills this need effortlessly and requires no additional hardware, software, or phone lines to operate the solution. We are very pleased that the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic schools recognize the value of having a proactive system like SchoolReach in their communications toolkit.”
SchoolReach is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based GroupCast, an instant messaging notification service. As the leading parent notification service among private schools, and the fastest growing service used by public schools across the country, SchoolReach offers the simplest way to reach parents, staff and students with essential messages. From weather and schedule changes to attendance tracking and from emergency notification to rumor control, SchoolReach simultaneously delivers the personally recorded message to tens, hundreds, or thousands of individuals and takes only minutes to reach all of its recipients. More information about SchoolReach or GroupCast can be found at www.schoolreach.com andwww.groupcast.com.
About the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools
The Archdiocese of Washington includes 96 schools educating 29,000 students in Washington, DC and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland. Sixty one of the schools are archdiocesan elementary schools. All Catholic schools in the Archdiocese are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and 99 percent of Catholic high school graduates are accepted to college.
Charlotte Andrist @ 770-578-8007 or Charlotte@EicherCommunications.com
Leslie Eicher @ 314-965-1776 or Leslie@EicherCommunications.com