In disseminating information about unplanned closings, school districts use messaging systems such as Blackboard Connect. The system ensures that information about unexpected school closings or early dismissals reaches the families of students in a time-efficient manner, as Manheim Central School District claims.
Blackboard Connect works through an automated dialing system. Parents and guardians receive calls initiated by school superintendents, directors of student services, principals or any other designated member of the school district informing them of the unplanned school closing. In some instances, the messaging system is also used to alert parents about upcoming events in the schools or any cancellations of planned events, as Manheim Central School District claims.
The system is also used to inform parents of any other issues such as delayed openings due to weather-related emergencies. During extreme emergency situations, the system is also used to relay critical information or emergency instructions to parents. In such cases, the messages are distributed to the parents’ two primary phone numbers and the emergency numbers they submit to the school district. The system gives parents and guardians the opportunity to hear a message again in case they miss something or when the message is broken by pressing one, as stated by Manheim Central School District.