Nahant schools to install emergency phone system

NAHANT – The school district is preparing to roll out an emergency phone system within the next couple of weeks.Superintendent Philip Devaux said the Johnson Elementary School has been using e-mail as the primary form of communication, but the district wanted another system in place in the event of an emergency.?The phone system we’re going to be using is AlertNow and it is similar to what is being used in many other school districts,” Devaux said.Devaux said the annual subscription fee for the district is approximately $1,000 a year and the Parent Teacher Association is picking up the tab.PTO Treasurer Kellie Frary, who has two children attending Johnson Elementary School, said the PTO is paying for the service for the duration of the three-year contract.?It was a safety concern,” Frary said. “It helps keep kids safe and parents informed in the event of an emergency. If there was ever a lock-down situation or emergency school closing we could get that information out immediately to parents.”Devaux said one of the nicest features is the system allows up to seven contact numbers for each child and is able to call extension numbers as well.?If you’re at work and can’t check your home e-mail it could be a problem in an emergency situation,” he said. “The phone system is a significant improvement in communication between school and home. It will be used primarily for important emergency announcements.”Devaux said the system is designed to supplement the e-mail notification system, not replace it.?There are different and distinct advantages to each system,” Devaux said. “I think the vast majority of information being sent to parents will continue to be sent by e-mail. All of our families have e-mail access and there are advantages to e-mail especially for the type of notices that used to be sent home in kids backpacks.”Devaux said using e-mail as the primary form of communication instead of sending printed notices home with students has reduced paper usage by almost 25 percent.?Last year we bought 130 cases of paper and at the end of the year had 30 cases left,” he said. “The advantage to e-mail is parents can selectively choose to print e-mails or forms like Little League registration that are sent home.”

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