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Palmerton School District to launch new AlertNow notification system

Published October 05. 2010 05:00PM

Palmerton Area School District is set to launch its new school wide notification system.

The district will send a phone message to introduce AlertNow between 6-8 p.m. Thursday. All parents must do is pick up the phone and listen to the message.

"It's our welcome to them to be a part of the system," said Superintendent Carol Boyce. "It's actually best for us as well to see they're getting the message."

Parents who don't receive the message should call the office of the building in which their child attends school, Boyce said.

"They will only get one call per household, regardless of how many children they have," she said. "We don't want to burden people with unnecessary calls, but ensure that people who want to know get to know."

Boyce said the district has received numerous inquiries as to why it didn't have such capability.

"In an age of ever-increasing postage and paper costs, we're hoping this is a more economical way to communicate effectively," she said. "We talked about this for the last year to 18 months."

Boyce said the system will alert parents and students of delays, cancellations, activities, and meeting reminders.

"However, reliability will depend on parents keeping us informed of the most recent information we have been given," she said.

In the future, the system will have email capability, said Dan Haney, director of technology.

"Our goal is to make sure the voice part is working," Haney said. "AlertNow is the most user-friendly, cost-effective, most widely-used notification system."

Haney said the system interphases with PowerSchool, and uploads current information on a daily basis.

As soon as a new student is enrolled, the parent and child will be included, he said.

Another new procedure the district will adhere to is that of the central registration of students.

As of last Friday, all students who need to register with the district will do so at the Parkside Education Center, administration, 3rd floor, 680 Fourth Street, Palmerton. The building is on the corner of Fourth and Franklin streets.

Registration hours are between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are needed. Call 610-826-7101, ext. 5023 or 5011 to make an appointment.

Registrants will need to bring the following: birth certificate of student, or other proof of age; copy of immunizations; moving permit from borough or township of residence; two proofs of residency; one needs to be a photo ID, the other can be a lease, deed, rental agreement, utility bill with proper address, etc., copy of student IEP (if applicable); junior high students (grades 7 and 8) should bring a copy of their latest report card; high school students (grades 9-12) should bring a copy of their transcript or latest report card; withdrawal from previous school; and previous school information, such as mailing address, phone and fax numbers.

Boyce said the new procedure should make it easier for families with children in multiple buildings, and ensure that the district will have consistent data.

She said the district would prefer that people make appointments by calling 610-826-7107, ext. 5023, to speak with Kim Ottinger, district registrar at Parkside.

Registration packets are available on-spot, and will include all previous school information, as well as forms, Boyce said.

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