What is ‘Early Notification’?
An Early Notification (EN) system is much more than a school messaging app. EN is the use of text and/or email messages from the school to the parents to alert caregivers to an unexplained absence from school, not an app for parents to let the school know that a student will be absent.
Benefits for a school of using an EN System
1. Saves time and money.
The Attendance Officer simply selects the students with an unexplained absence in the Student Management System (SMS). The SMS assembles a file with student names and caregiver contact details and sends it to the EN provider (e.g. School-links) who then distributes the EN messages via text/email. These messages are normally received within a few minutes. Staff no longer spend time on the phone tracking down parents.
“It is a fantastic service. It saves us from having to ring everybody – it is completely automated.” – Tony Sears, Deputy Principal, Waiheke High School
“I used to spend fifteen minutes to an hour texting parents to find out where students were. Now with one click of a button parents receive a customised text asking them to reply about their child’s whereabouts. It is a wonderful timesaver.” – Executive Officer, Newlands Primary School
2. Ease of use for parents.
Parents can quickly text a response to the alert. Text is ubiquitous, cost effective and less embarrassing then explaining over the phone that they forgot to notify the school!
3. Child safety is paramount.
The alerts take minutes from the receipt of the roll to reach the parents, meaning any child safety issues are apparent very quickly.
4. Creates a record.
Alerts and responses are automatically recorded in the SMS to inform discussion surrounding individual student attendance issues
“Concerns around absenteeism and sharing this information with parents was a major driver for a new solution.” – Dougal McGowan, the Deputy Rector of Otago Boys’ High School
5. No app required.
The system is not dependent on parents having downloaded an app.
“Our parents are mostly connected to texting on their cell phones – so texting is the most effective way to get a hold of them.” – Deputy Principal of Wanganui City College