How our messaging system works
Whenever we have an important message to get out to the public, we have a protocol that we follow that involves sending out texts, phone calls and emails. We also notify some news outlets and use our social media pages in addition to our website to get our message out. This week has seen that system used quite often and we would like to let you know how we do things so that you are better informed.
When there is a change to our schedule such as a late start to the school day, the superintendent starts getting the messages out or will notify someone else to start if he can't get to a computer right away. We will log in to our JMC message center and first send out the text messages. We do these first because they take up the least amount of time. It takes about 5 minutes to send out the text message to all 733 phone numbers that are currently signed up to get these messages. While this is going on, we will notify KELO TV, a notification will go up on the website and we will post messages on our Facebook & Twitter pages. Each of these only take a few seconds to do so they are usually out before we the text messages finish. Next, someone (usually Mr. Jorth) will start the phone calls. As of today, we have 990 phone numbers to call. JMC will call 5 numbers at a time so this does take some time to finish. If a phone isn't answered by a person or a machine (Voicemail works too), the system puts that number at the end of the queue and will try to call each number up to 3 times. If you see a phone call from 712-472-2664, that is the central office number and that is what shows up on caller id when we send these phone calls. If you or your voicemail/answering machine answer and say "Hello" the recording will start and your number will be marked off in the system as completed. The last thing we do is to send out emails. We currently send 505 emails (if we include student emails, we send 963 emails) and this again takes some time to complete. Since most people prefer to get a text or phone call, we do these last.
Having read all this, hopefully it is obvious to everyone that we use multiple methods to notify the public with our announcements. We also hope you realize that because the phone calls and emails take time to fully cycle through, it is very likely that you will read the message elsewhere before you get a phone call or email. Overall we have increased the speed at which our messages get to the public by utilizing social media and KELO TV so we would encourage you to all to look to those first if you think there is a message about school and you haven't received a phone call yet. As with any system, it doesn't always work perfectly so you may also call the school if you have any questions about late starts, early outs or if we are having school or an event that day.