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New Emergency Contact System Will Charge District Per Student

Email? Text? Phone call? Parents will be able to choose how they get emergency alerts from Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools.

Snow closings, rain cancellations, delayed openings — there are many messages a school district needs to communicate to students, parents and teachers.

The Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education seeks to improve emergency communications with a system called Instant Alert for Schools from Honeywell Inc. 

The board approved the district superintendent’s plan to contract with Honeywell for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

There are several benefits to the Honeywell system, according to Superintendent James Heinegg.

Honeywell charges per student for an unlimited number of communications, at the rate of $2 per pupil. The current system charges the district each time an alert is delivered, limiting the number of communications sent each school year.

The new system can also be customized. Teachers parents and other caregivers will be able to choose how they want to be alerted, whether it be by home phone, cell phone, text, email or any combination.

Heinegg said the system is smart enough to consolidate messages to families with more than one student in the district.

“You don’t get two calls for two kids,” he said at a recent board of education meeting.

The Honeywell system could have many uses, Heinegg said. Lists could be set up for sports teams, clubs, bands, etc. 

With enrollment at approximately 2,500, the expected cost is about $6,000 a year with set up fees. The district will pay a pro-rated fee since the school year is already in session.

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