More than 700 Potsdam Central School parents sign up to receive alerts on cell phones
Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 4:45 pm

By JIMMY LAWTON

POTSDAM -- More than 700 parents have subscribed to Potsdam Central School's new short messaging system that allows the school to send alerts to parents’ cell phones.

Known as SMS, “It's basically the same text messaging service that people have on their phone or mobile communication device. By using email, the school can send out alerts to parents instantly," Superintendent Patrick Brady said.

In a school district with approximately 1,400 students, Brady said he was very pleased with the response.

Brady said the SMS will be used to notify parents of cancellations, but uses may evolve as time goes on.

"Currently our plan is to use it for delay and cancellation notification, but our safety committee and the ad-hoc committee the district is forming will take a close look at the service and make recommendations on how the SMS could be used beyond the delay and cancellations," he said.

Brady said the idea to implement SMS came from a parent who used it in their own line of work.

"We were interested in opening up this system and this parent was able to organize this for us and we received an exceptional response," he said.

Brady said SMS is just one of the many things that will be discussed by the safety review committee.

“We are continually looking at opportunities to enhance security and communication is a key part of that,” he said.

Brady said the district would be reaching out to various law enforcement agencies, emergency responders and security professionals to aid in the school’s policy review.

“We want people who have experience and skill in the field to talk to us and look at our policy.”