SOURCE: SchoolReach Instant Parent Contact

SchoolReach Instant Parent Contact

February 18, 2010 15:45 ET

The Capitol Region Education Council Partners With SchoolReach to Provide Connecticut Schools With Parental Notification Services

Automated Parent Communication System Improves Parent Involvement While Reducing Communication Costs

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - February 18, 2010) - The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) has announced a partnership with SchoolReach, one of the fastest-growing parent notification services used among K-12 schools in the United States. 

Through the partnership agreement, the SchoolReach automated parent notification system will be made available to all Connecticut schools, and those throughout New England, at an exclusive discount. This agreement stems from SchoolReach being selected as one of three national parent notification contractors by the Association of Education Purchasing Agencies (AEPA), of which CREC is an affiliate.

CREC is one of six educational service agencies in Connecticut formed to provide schools with opportunities for shared educational, operational and professional services. "We're excited about this new relationship," said Cara Hart, program manager of cooperative purchasing. "Saving time and money are important goals for every school district, municipality, and non-profit organization, especially in this tough economic climate. Cooperative purchasing opportunities like this one, bid on behalf of the schools, are now more important than ever to a school's bottom line. Instant parent notification is a much needed service in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast," said Hart. 

The AEPA is national purchasing consortium encompassing 23 states with ties to local organizations such as the Capitol Region Education Council for program delivery. The AEPA vendor vetting process satisfies state-level request for proposal (RFP) requirements, which is another area of significant savings. The process of issuing an RFP can run tens of thousands and take months to complete. "Our agreement with SchoolReach under the AEPA guidelines allows a streamlined contracting process and savings to be passed directly to the school districts," added Hart.

With its quick, three-step instant messaging process, SchoolReach allows an administrator to create a brief message, target a list of parents, teachers, district staff, or community members, and distribute the message to the list members simultaneously. Messages can be delivered through voice, email or text messaging modules. In addition, the SchoolReach system offers robust reports detailing call data, such as when contacts received the message and how it was answered. Parents may also respond to messages using touch tone keys creating an immediate polling and feedback mechanism for busy school administrators.

Once thought of just for school cancellations and urgent announcements, automated parent notification systems are now an integral part of the school-to-home communications process. "Our customers report huge gains in parent involvement coupled with significant reductions in communications expense," said Paul Langhorst, chief marketing officer for SchoolReach. "Connecticut school districts are struggling with tight budgets; SchoolReach can improve communications while saving $10 to $20 per student in paper, printing, postage and labor expense making it a true win-win."

ABOUT SCHOOLREACH

SchoolReach is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based GroupCast, an instant messaging notification service. From weather and schedule changes to absentee notification and from emergency notification to rumor control, SchoolReach simultaneously delivers the personally recorded message to tens, hundreds or thousands of individuals and takes only minutes to reach all of its recipients. More information about SchoolReach or GroupCast can be found at www.schoolreach.com and www.groupcast.com.

ABOUT THE CAPITOLREGION EDUCATION COUNCIL

The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) was established by a group of educators in 1966 to help local school districts share resources and do more together than they could alone. Every day, we work with boards of education and other agencies throughout Connecticut and beyond, to improve the quality of public education for all learners, and to do it as economically as possible. To learn more about CREC and its programs, including cooperative purchasing, visit www.crec.org.

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