Gulfport parents can get text messages on school events

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Parents and employees in the Gulfport School District can now be updated about school events and emergencies through their cell phones and e-mail accounts.

The district began using a service last week that allows messages to be sent via voice mail, e-mail and text message. Officials said they want to be able to get time-sensitive information out as quickly as possible.

The service will be used in emergencies, as well as to notify parents and employees about happenings at a school.

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“The safety of our students is of utmost importance to the district,” said Cindy DeFrances, community relations coordinator for the district. “Communication plays a crucial role in emergency preparedness, and we are excited to have a service that allows the district to communicate with parents and staff members within minutes.”

District officials and principals can use the Connect-ED service to schedule, send and track personalized voice mail messages at up to six phone numbers and two e-mail addresses per person.

Each school has uploaded phone numbers and e-mail addresses of parents and employees.

“Increasing communication with parents is also an important benefit of having a mass communications service,” DeFrances said. “Parents will now receive messages sent to them directly from their child’s school with information on attendance, school activities and important dates.”

Officials can send messages to employees and parents throughout the district or just to a particular school.