Janesville31.1°

District turns to radio for announcements

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Kayla Bunge
October 28, 2008
— The Janesville School District communicates announcements—closings, delays and other notifications—through the local radio station WCLO.

But with the help of a $250,000 federal grant to evaluate and update its safety plans, the district could explore implementing a different method of communicating such announcements, said Sheryl Miller, district information specialist.


A number of parents criticized the district for not notifying them of a Monday afternoon lockdown at Marshall Middle School and Monroe Middle School.


Do the Janesville schools need a different way to communicate with parents?


The Milton School District subscribes to the telephone calling program SchoolMessenger, which it used for the first time Oct. 17, after a threatening note with the word "bomb" was found the day before in a girls' bathroom at Milton High School.


Superintendent Bernie Nikolay said the principal recorded a message that explained the situation and informed parents that students would be searched when they arrived at school that morning.


"At 6:15 (a.m.) it mass dialed and within 15 minutes, everybody was called," he said.


Nikolay said the notification helped the search run smoothly.


"Of all the things we did, that was the most helpful," he said.


Miller said the Janesville School District has talked "many times" about implementing a similar mass communication system.



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