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Jo. Co. Schools suggests app notifications

By Meg Dickens
STAFF WRITER
Locals are aware of the Johnson County School System’s call notifications system for schedule changes, events, and general info. Parents, staff, and students rely on this information.
During the last few months, parents have complained that these notifications are unreliable. Since then, the school system has been investigating the cause. Its most recent step is notifying the public of a way to ensure they receive notifications.
The Johnson County School System has used SchoolMessenger for several years. Unfortunately, there have been some issues over the last few months as the software updated, causing email notifications not to be sent with voice calls.
Parents complained that the program would leave approximately five seconds of silence in their voicemail instead of the actual notification.
The Johnson County Schools Technology Department thought it was a Sprint provider issue because many who complained were Sprint customers.
Further research showed that system updates caused the problem. After speaking to the SchoolMessenger software team, the tech department found that downloading the new app would eliminate these issues.
The app works with voice calls and emails, while also keeping a record of 5 to 6 old notifications for reference. Those without the app will still receive normal voice calls at their current number, but they cannot receive automatic emails.
“We’ve been using SchoolMessenger for some time,” said Johnson County Schools Director of Technology Rob Sutherland. “The reason we recommend parents download and link the app to their email account is so they’ll automatically receive notifications. It is the most reliable way.”
The SchoolMessenger app is a free app from West’s Education Group, that is available on the Apple and Google Play stores. Sign up using the email address on file with your child’s school.
Those who do not have the app can still get voice call notifications as usual but cannot receive automatic email notifications.
For more information, contact the parent company West Corporation at (800) 920-3897 or check out the website at schoolmessenger.com.