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Monthly Archives: January 2017

How Newlands School ‘stomped’ on the rumours during Wellington’s wild week

January, 2017

It is not uncommon for New Zealand schools to occasionally have to deal with the repercussions of a flood or earthquake, but in November 2016, Newlands School in Wellington unfortunately experienced both within a few days.

School Office Administrator, Megan Chisholm describes in our case study how, even amidst the chaos, they were able to easily communicate the school’s open status with their community using School-links.

“There was so much uncertainty in the community,” says Megan. “There were mixed messages coming from local authorities, other organisations, the media and the grapevine, so some people thought that all schools were closed that day.”

Although it was a chaotic week, the school was commended on its ability to communicate effectively with families throughout. “It just went so smoothly because wherever we were we knew we could get a message out quickly,” says Megan. “We used School-links to communicate the facts and stomp on the rumours. Parents knew exactly what we were doing. Whereas I know with some other schools there was a lot of confusion about what was going on.”

Learn more about Newlands School’s experience during the Wellington 2016 earthquake and flooding in the full case study. Click here to download.

How Northland School communicated with parents during 2016 Wellington earthquake

January, 2017

Northland CS blog image

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.

Learn more about Northland School’s experience during the Wellington 2016 earthquake in the full case study. Click here to download.