(01/12/2011)
Calhoun Schools have recently implemented ParentLink, a parental communication system to announce school delays and closings for weather conditions.

Access to this system has been funded by a federal Safe and Drug Free School grant, and allows the Calhoun school system almost instant communication with parents, according to superintendent Roger Propst.

ParentLink is in operation in many West Virginia counties, including neighboring counties Gilmer and Wirt.

The system utilizes information contained in the statewide database of the West Virginia Educational Information System (WVEIS), which updates the ParentLink software nightly.

The messages are recorded by the superintendent or principal and the calls to parents are made using a national phone network that is able to deliver 452 calls per minute.

Should the phone not be answered, the system will call again until delivered successfully, or the time window for the call expires.

Propst said, "Should there ever be an emergency in one or all of our schools, this system could be utilized to contact all parents with information concerning the emergency."

In such a case, the system would contact all phone numbers on the student's record, rather than just the primary number.

Propst said if anyone is receiving calls who should not be, contact the school offices or the Central Office, and the number will be placed on the "Do Not Call List".

"If you have students in Calhoun schools and are not being called, you should also contact the appropriate school and update your phone information," he said.

"We ask for patience as we 'fine tune this technology that greatly enhances the school system's ability to communicate with parents," Propst concluded.


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