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Upgrade proposed to emergency notification system

September 4, 2014

Photo by Amy Cherry Members of the SMASD Board of Directors discuss options for a new emergency notification system

In the wake of Tuesday's school shooting prank call, St. Marys Area School District Superintendent Brian Toth proposed an upgrade to the district's notification system.
While Toth praised the efforts of emergency personnel, staff and students, he noted the difficulty in communicating at times and the dissemination of misinformation, specifically through social media.
Currently the district utilizes an eAlert system which notifies individuals via e-mail, text or both about school happenings such as emergency situations, cancellations and delays.
Toth explained the new system would be more comprehensive and could produce e-mails, text messages and Facebook posts as well as send out phone calls to all subscribers within 15 minutes.
All notices could be sent out remotely as well as via desktop computer.
"It can be a valuable resource when we need to reach people quickly," Toth said. "On Tuesday when we were outside, if we would have had such capability then we could have sent very quickly even more messages out to parents."

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