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St. Lawrence Central to test new auto dialer soon

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BRASHER FALLS - The St. Lawrence Central School District will soon have a new way to notify parents of emergencies, upcoming events and even if their child is absent from school.

Superintendent Stephen M. Putman said they’ll soon be testing a new auto dialer program that’s functioning now and will be able to send out mass emails, text messages or phone calls.

Information about the new system is contained in the district’s latest newsletter, and Mr. Putman said they had thought about testing it Thursday when students had an early release from school. But, he said, they’ve opted to wait until later to give it test.

He said the auto dialer can be used for a number of functions, including letting parents know if school will be unexpectedly releasing students early.

“I really have been disinclined and have been in the past to send students home once they’re here” because there may not be a parent at home, he said. “It’s rare, but there have been times when we’ve brought kids back here.”

Once the new system is put into full operation, they’ll have an opportunity to alert parents if the school will be closing early.

“In case of a severe storm coming up in the middle of the day, it’s an opportunity to send emails,” as well as take advantage of an option to send out a text message that will come through as a voice call on the other person’s phone, Mr. Putman said.

In cases where a parent is working and their employer doesn’t want personal calls there, he said they can send an email to alert that person.

For students in grades 7 through 12, he said they plan to send alerts to parents if their child doesn’t show up or is late for school.

“We know kids are not showing up to school and the parents don’t know” because they’re single parents or both are working, the superintendent said.

“Some people will think it’s a nuisance, and I get that,” he said, but noted there was a correlation between attendance and graduation rates.

To a lesser degree, he said they’ll also be able to use the system to let parents know about upcoming events in the district.

Mr. Putman said he has already successfully tested the new auto dialer himself. He said it left a voice message on his phone, sent a text message to his cell phone and sent an email to his account.

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