Northland School in Wellington has been through snowstorms, lockdowns, earthquakes and floods in the past five years. All these events required getting a message to parents and caregivers, and school staff have continued to learn from these experiences and refine their communication process.
Engaging with School-links to set up an emergency messaging system was a key part of improving the school’s communication strategy. The text alert system made getting messages to parents simple and fast – a vast improvement from their previous time-consuming method of radio announcements and placing teachers at the gates of the school.
Following the Kaikoura earthquake in November last year, Northland School had the opportunity to put the School-links system into action.
“I had to get the property checked so I needed to let the community know quickly that the school was not going to be open on that Monday morning,” says Northland School Principal Jeremy Edwards. “I got my mobile, clicked on the School-links app, put in my password, composed a message and pushed send; it took less than a minute.”
Once the all clear was given by the engineers, the school sent a follow up message letting the community know they would be open as usual the following day.
The whole process went off without a hitch and without a single student or staff member turning up to the school. “It was very positive,” says Jeremy.