Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There appeared to be some confusion on the AlertNow forms that we received back. We did not try to interpret your intention on the form, rather we inputted them exactly as they were returned to us. As a result, your child’s listing may not reflect the information you intended. Please read this form thoroughly to clear up any confusion about why your data may not be what you intended. If, after reading the information listed below, you would like to change the email addresses and phone numbers in the AlertNow system then you may call the High School or Elementary School and request an AlertNow Update Form.
General System Questions
- What is the purpose of AlertNow?
- What will a phone call from AlertNow look like?
- What are the differences between the Primary phone/email and Emergency phone/email listings?
- What do you consider the difference between an Emergency and a Non-Emergency call?
- What are the general guidelines for choosing Primary phone numbers and email addresses?
- What are the general guidelines for choosing Emergency phone numbers and email addresses?
- Where did you get the phone numbers that were on my child’s AlertNow form?
- I have multiple students. Will I get multiple calls?
- Can I see what the AlertNow contact information is for my child?
- How do I change my AlertNow contact preferences?
- On the form, I listed two Primary numbers. Why aren’t both called on a snow day?
- During the AlertNow test of Primary Contacts, I received a phone call, but I did not get the email.
- I put my work number as my primary number, but I was told this is a bad idea. Why?
- We have shared custody of our child and s/he alternates between our houses each week. We would both like to be Primary numbers for our child, but there is only room for one Primary number. How can we correct this?
- I listed my home phone as both primary and emergency, but I was told it was removed from the Emergency numbers. Why?
- I listed my emergency phone numbers on the form in a specific order. Why did they all get called?
- Not all of my emergency phone numbers were called in an emergency.
Businesses and ‘non-phone’ Numbers
- I submitted my pager number as an emergency contact. Why didn’t I get paged in an emergency?
- I want to get text messages on my cell phone, instead of a call from AlertNow. Can I?
- I work at the school. I listed the school number as an emergency contact. In an emergency, I wasn’t called there. Why?
- I included my work phone number as an emergency number, but in an emergency I did not get a call.
- I included my work phone number as an emergency number, and left instructions to ask for me by name. However, the message was delivered to the receptionist. Why didn’t you ask for me?
- When I listed my work number for an emergency, I specified on the form that it should only be called on certain days of the week. Why was it called on a day I specified not to call it?
- I included an email address; why don’t I get any emails?
- During the AlertNow test of Primary Contacts, I received a phone call, but I did not get the email.
- I sent in my new phone number on the AlertNow form, but the school still calls me for other issues on my old number.
- I am a daycare provider. I do not want to be called by the AlertNow system.
There are two primary uses of AlertNow: to notify parents in case of a closure or emergency, and to send occasional informational messages home. AlertNow will be used in school-wide situations. In an emergency that only involves your child, we will refer to the contact information in your child’s file in our main student database. If you would like more information about the uses of AlertNow, please contact the school.
– Non-Emergency situations are typically seen as those where we are contacting you outside of school hours, or during school hours where students are not evacuating the school. Examples of non-emergency calls would be in situations such as snow days (those declared before school begins), and general announcements and reminders like progress reports that need to be signed and returned.
– Examples of Emergency calls include mid-day closures, and situations during school hours that require students to leave the school. They can also be used to provide updates in the unlikely, extreme situations such as the school being in lock-down due to an intruder. We hope to never encounter situations such as this, but feel it is important to have the ability to contact parents if the situation were to ever arise.
– Primary phone numbers will be contacted in both emergency and non-emergency calls. Two questions to ask yourself when considering your choice of a Primary number are: Which phone do I want to ring at 6:30 am when the school is closed for a snow day? and Which phone do I want to be contacted on for general announcements?
– Emergency phone numbers and email addresses will only be contacted in the unlikely event of a situation deemed emergency by the administrators on-duty. When choosing Emergency contacts, keep in mind that you CANNOT include phone numbers with extensions, and the system cannot interact with a receptionist other than to deliver the message; the system cannot be put on hold or transferred to another line. A good question to ask yourself when choosing Emergency numbers and email addresses is: Whom do I want to receive the call when the school is unexpectedly closed mid-day? You will need to coordinate with those you list in AlertNow for your Emergency numbers when the call goes out so that four individuals do not arrive to pick up the same child. Another important fact to keep in mind is that ALL emergency numbers will be called in an emergency, simultaneously. Additionally, you cannot specify particular times of day or days of the week in which you want an emergency phone number to be used by AlertNow.
– The Primary Number was the primary number listed for the student, and the next four Emergency numbers are: Contact 1 Work/Cell, Contact 1 Home, Contact 2 Work/Cell, Contact 2 Home. The AlertNow forms were NOT used to update our contact database, only the AlertNow system. If you need to update your child’s general contact information, please call or stop by the school to request a Change of Contact Information form.
– Yes, parents and guardians with a legal right to view and update contact information for your student are welcome to stop by the school or request that a printout of your listing be mailed to your primary address.
– Please call or stop by the school and request an AlertNow Update Form. On the back of this form, you can also add or remove phone numbers and addresses from your child’s listing in our main system. You may request to view your listings for both systems by calling or stopping by the school. Please note that AlertNow forms will ONLY be used to update the AlertNow system, and not the school’s main database.
Q) During the AlertNow test of Primary Contacts, I received a phone call, but I did not get the email.
– Some forms that were returned to us only listed email addresses in the Emergency Email section, and did not provide an email address for the Primary Email Address. We entered the forms into the system as we received them.
– Your email address may have been illegible, or we may have misinterpreted letters for numbers if they were not distinct.
– Old email addresses may not have been corrected if we did not receive a form from you, or if you did not inform the school of your updated email address using an AlertNow Update form.
– Your primary number will be called any time of day – primarily early in the morning to alert you of school cancellations, and in the evening to provide general information and announcements. Your home number or cell phone number is a better choice for these reasons. If you are unsure which phone number should be your primary number, ask yourself: “Which phone do I want to ring at 6:30am when the school is closing for a Snow Day?”
Q) We have shared custody of our child and s/he alternates between our houses each week. We would both like to be Primary numbers for our child, but there is only room for one Primary number. How can we correct this?
– Having multiple Primary numbers requires a duplicaion of your student’s AlertNow record, and we prefer to only do this in special situations to avoid confusion. Please contact the school office and request an AlertNow Update Form, and indicate that you must have two primary numbers.
Q) I listed my home phone as both primary and emergency, but I was told it was removed from the Emergency numbers. Why?
Q) I listed my emergency phone numbers on the form in a specific order. Why did they all get called?
– No. The system does not currently support text messaging. Your cell system may provide a text-to-email service; this may cost you extra. Please be advised the length of the email may exceed your text-to-email message size limit, so you may not get the whole message.
Q) I work at the school. I listed the school number as an emergency contact. In an emergency, I wasn’t called there. Why?
Q) I included my work phone number as an emergency number, but in an emergency I did not get a call.
Q) I included my work phone number as an emergency number, and left instructions to ask for me by name. However, the message was delivered to the receptionist. Why didn’t you ask for me?
Q) When I listed my work number for an emergency, I specified on the form that it should only be called on certain days of the week. Why was it called on a day I specified not to call it?
– The AlertNow system does not have the ability to differentiate phone numbers by the days or times on which they should be called. It is a simple mass-call system. Your phone number can only be listed for all potential emergency calls, or not listed at all.
– Either we had dificulty reading your email address (illegible, numbers looked like letters, etc.), or it was not listed in the “primary email address” line of the form. You may have written it in the “emergency email” section by mistake, in which case emails will only be sent to that address in an emergency situation.
Q) I sent in my new phone number on the AlertNow form, but the school still calls me for other issues on my old number.
– We did not use the AlertNow forms to update our main database of contact information, because that system is much more complex about how it stores the information. The AlertNow forms were only used to update the AlertNow system. If you would like to change any contact information with the school, please stop by the school office and request a change-of-address form.
– If you have multiple children at the school and did not update the form for each student, your old numbers will still reside in the system.
– If you did not cross out the wrong numbers on the form, then they may still be there.
– Your phone number may have been listed by multiple parents as an emergency contact. Please express to your clients that you do not want to be part of AlertNow, and call the Elementary school to have your number removed from the listings. Please be patient as we may not find all instances of your number on the first try.