School districts ready to alert parents with important messages

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Rio Grande Valley students are returning to campus for in-person learning.

While parents get ready for this, school districts are also preparing to send message alerts.

Important updates regarding school closures and campus lockdowns are just some of the updates Donna ISD can provide through their communication systems.

“One of the systems that we use, is called Blackboard Connect, we can use this system to inform parents of any events that are coming up in the district or any emergencies that we would like to notify our parents of,” said Donna ISD’s acting superintendent, Rebecca Castañeda.

Castañeda said this system is used by the administration to push out texts, emails, and phone calls.

She said parents can choose their preferred method of communication when enrolling their children in school, by filling out a form.

Donna ISD also uses social media to communicate and interact with their followers, according to Castañeda.

Castañeda explains they will use Blackboard Connect to send messages to parents informing them of important updates, including COVID-19 alerts.

She said they also use their website’s Covid-19 Dashboard to keep families, staff, and the community informed.

McAllen ISD’s Community Information Specialist, Mark May, said the district is also using a system to push messages out to parents.

He said they recognize the importance of getting timely information to parents and using a system called Thrillshare, allows them to do that.

The system allows them to tailor messages to be sent to specific campuses or the entire district, according to May.

Parents are registered for communication when their child is enrolled in school, and they can select their preferred language.

He said it is important for parents to keep their contact information updated with the school in order to receive communication.

May said he understands parents may be alarmed when they receive a message, but that it is important to remain calm.

“One thing that would be helpful, anytime we have a situation at a campus, please don’t go there to pick up your child, because that just kind of exacerbates the situation,” said May.

He said in case of an emergency, the district will send out a message advising the parent when things are safe to go to the campus.

For more information on Donna ISD and McAllen ISD, you can visit their websites.

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