ST. LOUIS, MO., Nov. 4, 2009SchoolReach, one of the fastest-growing parent notification services used by public, private and parochial schools in the United States, today announced it has entered into a partnership agreement with the Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF), an advocacy and support organization serving nonpublic K-12 schools across the state. Through this alliance, the SchoolReach system will be made available to MISF member schools at an exclusive discount, and will be used by MISF to disseminate and share information that directly affects school operations.

 

Since its founding in 1976, MISF has been the voice for private education in the state of Minnesota.  The organization works at the state and federal level to advocate for the independence and success of the nonpublic school system.  It likewise provides important services, such as programming and scholarship funding, to its member schools.  At present there are more than 530 private and independent schools in Minnesota.

 

“Making this quality service available is a great opportunity for MISF to add even more value to its member schools.  The SchoolReach system gives administrators an affordable, easy, and effective way to foster a greater collaboration between school and home,” said James B. Field, president of MISF.   “Several schools across the state already use SchoolReach to communicate everything from bus schedules to notifications of low lunch balances.  We have reviewed the system thoroughly and believe it will greatly expand schools’ ability to provide the kind of information parents need and want.”

 

With its simple, three-step ‘Record-Select-Send’ instant messaging process, SchoolReach allows administrators to record a brief message, select a specific list of parents, teachers, district staff, or community members to whom the message can be sent, and deliver those messages simultaneously via voice, email, or text messaging. 

 

The SchoolReach system is web-based, requiring no additional hardware or phone lines for schools to install.  It also offers customizable features, giving administrators the ability to automate absentee notices, make multi-language recordings, and launch phone-delivered parent polls and surveys.

 

SchoolReach also includes robust reports detailing call data, such as which contacts received the message, who listened to the entire message and when the message was sent to an answering machine.  Replacing older forms of communication, such as phone trees and sending notes home with students, the system allows for beneficial and up-to-the-minute distribution of essential information including attendance tracking, weather and schedule changes, community outreach, rumor control, and emergency notification.

 

“This alliance represents a significant step in our strategy to provide all Minnesota schools with a top-of-the-line communications tool,” said Paul Langhorst, co-founder and vice president of operations at GroupCast, SchoolReach’s parent company.  “SchoolReach is committed to helping school administrators dramatically improve the way they manage parent communications efforts –with every call.”

 

ABOUT GROUPCAST AND SCHOOLREACH 

GroupCast is a St. Louis-based instant messaging notification service, delivering automated messages via three platforms: voice, email, and text messaging.  SchoolReach, a subsidiary of GroupCast, is the nation’s leading parent notification service among private schools, and the fastest-growing communications service used by public schools.  More information about GroupCast or SchoolReach can be found at www.groupcast.com and www.schoolreach.com or by calling 800-420-1479.

ABOUT MINNESOTA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FORUM (MISF)

The Minnesota Independent School Forum is a member-owned nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance independent and private education through advocacy, scholarship funding for students with financial needs, and school programs and services. MISF members are private and independent, accredited high schools throughout Minnesota. These schools provide a high-quality education. Collectively, 99 percent of the students graduate, and 95 percent continue on to postsecondary education.

 

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