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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Did you get the school district's latest instant alert message?

  • If you didn't, the district would like to hear from you.
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  •     The Crookston School District between 5:30 and 6 p.m. on Friday tested its new instant alert system by calling, emailing and texting everyone enrolled in the old system.
        If you received the alert, you need to do nothing. But if you didn’t receive the call, email or text, district officials would like to hear from you.
        If you weren’t contacted by the instant alert system on Friday at around 5:30 p.m., Superintendent Chris Bates asks that you contact School District Office Coordinator Marilyn Wahouske at 281-5313, ext. 3 so you can be added to the call list.
        Gone is the instant alert vendor Honeywell, and in its place is St. Louis-based SchoolReach. Bates earlier in the fall recommended school board approval of the switch for several reasons, one of which was to save the district money. As part of its membership in an instant alert cooperative, the district paid Honeywell approximately $3,600 per year, but is paying SchoolReach $8,000 total over a three-year contact. Bates said he’d also had previous, positive experiences with SchoolReach in other school districts.
        The new system also interfaces nicely with the school district’s Skyward system, Bates added.
        Once everything is up and running properly, he said one of the next goals will be to send out instant alerts in other languages, such as Spanish.
        If parents are debating whether or not they want to receive instant alerts, Bates said he wants everyone to know that it’s an emergency system that the district has no plans to overuse. “So whenever parents see the school on their caller ID, please treat it as an emergency or at least as something very important,” he said.

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