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November 1, 2017

Schools to test new alert system Monday, Tuesday

Photo/Blackboard
A student receives a text alert from the new system.
Fauquier County Public Schools will switch to a new parent and staff notification system this month.

“Mass Notify,” the new messaging and alert system, represents the second component in the Blackboard Community Engagement program. The program includes the website, Mass Notify (alerts and messaging), social media manager, mobile communications and teacher communications (a link to Blackboard Learn).The website changed just more than a year ago. The other three components will go live by the end of this school term.

“Sharing our story will be easier and more effective through this product as we will be able to communicate through multiple tools that can expand our reach to students, parents, staff and community,” school system Instructional Technology Manager Patti Kershaw said. 

To prepare for the official launch of Mass Notify, the school system will begin testing the new system by sending notifications to all staff, parents, and guardians via phone, email and text messaging Monday, Nov. 6, and Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Two test broadcasts will go out. The first, at 10 a.m. Monday, will simulate a school closing or delay notification, usually broadcast early morning or late evening.

The second test broadcast, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, will simulate a non-emergency notification. SMS messages will be from 606-80.

“Fauquier County Public Schools will issue additional press releases as we roll out the remaining components of the Blackboard Community Engagement package. Please stay tuned,” Ms. Kershaw said.
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