In our effort to improve communication between parents and school, New York Mills ISD 553 has implemented a telephone broadcast system that will enable school personnel to notify all households and parents by phone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes early dismissal, school cancellation or late start. The service may also be used from time-to-time to communicate general announcements or reminders. This service is provided by SchoolMessenger, a company specializing in school-to-parent communications. New York Mills ISD 553 will continue to report school closings due to snow or weather on local radio stations and will use this system as an overlay to the public announcements.
When used, the service will call all phone numbers in our selected parent contact lists and will deliver a recorded message from a school administrator. The service will deliver the message to both live answer and answering machines. No answers (phones ringing over 40 sec.) and busies will be automatically retried twice in fifteen minute intervals after the initial call.
Here is some specific information you should know:
- Caller ID:
The Call ID will display 218-385-2553 which is the main number for New York Mills ISD 553
- Live Answers:
There is a short pause at the beginning of the message, usually a few seconds. Answer your phone as you normally would; “hello” and hold for the message to begin. Multiple “hellos” will delay the message. Inform all family members who may answer your phone of this process.
- Answering Machines:
The system will detect that your machine has answered and will play the recording to your machine. The phone will ring for up to 40 seconds. Make sure that your machine answers after four rings or you may miss the message.
- Message Repeat:
At the end of the message you will be prompted to ‘press any key’ to hear the message again. This is very helpful when a child answers the phone and hands it to a parent, who can then ‘repeat’ the message in its entirety.
SchoolMessenger, the service provider, uses the best available technology in the industry to detect the difference between human answer and machine or voicemail answer.
Here’s how detection works:
- The system detects and measures the voice energy when the phone is answered.
- The system measures this energy in combination with the background noise and line impairments.
- If the system determines that it is a “live” answer, it will immediately start playing the message.
- If the system determines that it is a machine, it will wait for three full seconds of silence before playing the message with a maximum wait time of twenty seconds.
- If the system cannot make a determination, it will default to answering machine thus requiring several seconds of silence for the message to play. In this case, you may hear a prompt to “press any key to hear the message immediately.”
Some reasons for false detection:
- Loud background noise; television, radio, general noisy environment.
- A cordless phone that has static or other foreign noise.
- Not saying “hello” or repeatedly saying “hello”.
- Cellular phones which, when called, have the ‘ringback tones’ music option.
- Answering machine/voice mail greetings which are too long or have long pauses in speech.
What can be done to remedy this?
- Do not say “hello” more than once. If the system detected your answer incorrectly, all noise will reset the three- second counter.
- If, after you answer, the message does not immediately play, cover the mouthpiece of the phone to cutout all background noise. The message should begin after three seconds.
Please make every effort to provide the school with current and accurate phone information any time there is a change to ensure that you do not miss important information.