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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Is your school prepared for unruly weather and uncertain circumstances?

September, 2015

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Spring is usually an unruly time of year, weather-wise. But with the recent Central North Island lockdown and Upper Hutt shooting, school communities around New Zealand are also seriously discussing emergency procedures beyond the realms of weather events and natural disasters.

Like the famous scout motto declares, “Be prepared”.

Encourage the school community with the notion that being prepared for emergencies will bring a sense of security and control rather than fear, during a real event.

However, it is easy to get into a state of complacency when nothing out of the ordinary happens over a long period of time.

Fire drills conducted half-heartedly; Emergency procedures glossed over when training new staff members; Discovering flat batteries in the Megaphone!

Although some may find practising drills and reading over emergency procedure tedious, being familiar with the protocol will reduce stress and help procedures to run smoothly during an actual emergency.

As winter draws to a close, it is an optimum time for reflection and evaluation on how the school community reacted to any unscheduled school closures, weather warnings and emergencies.

  • Did parents block up the phone lines by ringing the school or did they understand that texts and emails are also school channels of communication?
  • Did students know where to assemble when an earthquake happened during morning tea time?
  • Did staff understand their responsibilities when the school went into lockdown or flooding made it evident the school needed to close immediately?
  • Did you have reliable technology and processes in place to quickly reassure parents and communicate actions to take?

Dedicate Spring as a time to understand where your Emergency Procedure Plan is lacking and refresh school staff, parents and students around protocol and responsibilities.

 

Whitepaper-coverLearn more about school emergency procedures and lessons New Zealand schools have learned, in the white paper ‘Kia Kaha! Staying in control and effectively responding to emergencies at school’.

School-links Spring Cleaning: 5 tips to enrich your school communications

September, 2015

Spring

Like any successful spring cleaning process, taking a step back and making a list of things to do is helpful.

This spring we have put together some tips and updates to help School-links users brush up on their communication techniques and streamline processes.

Current Data

Regular csv data exports enrich your general communications for both text and email messaging as it will refresh you with your parents, caregivers and student’s latest email addresses and mobile phone numbers.  We recommend you email us a file monthly or at least twice a term – some schools are sending files weekly.

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Emergency Text App

Incidentally, having  good data in your portal also enables you the flexibility to use the Emergency Text App (for Administrators /Senior Management staff) to send urgent text messages to any combinations of your parents, staff and students.

The app is available for both Android and Apple devices, just look for School-links (with the hyphen), and the little orange logo will show with the correct app.

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Emergency message tips

A reminder for essentials to include when sending text and email messages, especially for cancellations, emergencies, lockdowns:

  • Put your school name in both the text and email message – preferably at the beginning of the message, and sign off.
  • For emergency text message communications it is preferable to use the Text Alert Centre.

For more tips on writing an effective text message click here.

 

Parent Interviews

Parent Interviews online booking system is now available.  We have partnered with Parent Interviews which uses a simple code for parents to access and book their interviews online.

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If you are interested in using this facility please contact us.

 

Update Administrators

Now is a timely reminder to update your Administrators.

To create an Administrator:

  • Click Users and Groups in blue bar
  • Administrators
  • Add new Administrator
  • Create New Administrator
  • Data Transfers
  • Enable account.

To add or remove a Master please contact us.

Want to learn more? Enquire now.

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