Each school has a plan for responding to emergencies and for providing information to parents, including the use of the school district’s automated Parent Notification System (see below). Please remember that communicating can become very difficult during an emergency. Telephone service may be unavailable for outgoing or incoming calls to your child’s school, for example. Emails and text messages can be more reliable when phone lines are busy, so watch for messages from the school or district in the event of an emergency. For more information, you can check the district’s website or call the Emergency Information Line at 425-356-1299.
PARENT NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
The school district uses a system called Blackboard Connect to send important messages to parents via telephone, text, and email. These messages may be about your child’s attendance at school, balances on nutrition service accounts, and library fines as well as important information such as school closures or delays.
This automated system uses the contact information that is listed in a child’s student records. Please make sure that your child’s school has current contact information for your family.
Most notification messages, such as those regarding attendance or balances on nutrition service accounts, will be sent to you by telephone, unless you choose otherwise. You can select your preferences for how you receive those notifications by going to the Blackboard Connect Portal. There is more information about how to do that below.
School may be delayed or canceled because of weather conditions or other events. Bus routes may also be affected by unsafe travel conditions. Most of the major radio and television stations broadcast information about school closures.
The announcement of a school closure or delay is usually made early in the morning. Parents will receive a phone call and email if school is closed or delayed. If you've signed up to receive text messages through the Blackboard Connect portal, you should also receive a text message.
Updated school closure information also will be posted on the school district’s website, on the FlashAlert website, or can be found by calling the Emergency Information Line at 425-356-1299. If school is canceled, the school day will be made up later in the year. If bus routes are limited due to snow or ice on roadways, the alternate routes are listed on the transportation website.
In addition to the Parent Notification System, there are other options for receiving a text message in the event of a school closure or delay. When the school district announces a change in the schedule, it notifies the local TV and radio stations through a service called FlashAlert. You can receive a text message directly from FlashAlert whenever the school district posts a notice to that system. You can receive that service by signing up for FlashAlert Messenger. Many local TV and radio stations also offer similar services.
Conditions could develop during the school day that may require school to be dismissed earlier than planned. Information about early dismissals will be provided to local radio and television stations and distributed through the school district’s automated Parent Notification System. If school is dismissed early, and transportation home is not available, a child will be released only to his or her parent or guardian or to a person previously authorized by the parent or guardian. We ask that parents please bring photo identification (such as a driver’s license) to ensure student safety. School staff will remain at the school until all students have been released.
BLACKBOARD CONNECT PORTAL
Using the Blackboard Connect Portal, you can select whether you want to receive notifications by text or email, or both. You also can choose to receive attendance notifications by text or email rather than by telephone. (During an emergency, you will be notified using all of the listings that we have for your child’s student record, which may include your home telephone, your cell phone, your business phone, text, and email.)
To change your settings, go to the Blackboard Connect Portal. If you have not registered for a Blackboard Connect account, you’ll find detailed instructions by using the “Quick Start Guide” link that you’ll find on the left of the welcome page.
Once you have entered your email address, selected a password, and answered a few security questions, you will be asked to provide your child’s student ID number and the primary telephone number that you used when you registered your child. If you don’t know your child’s ID number, ask him or her. Most students have the number memorized. If not, call your child’s school. If you have more than one child in school, you also can add your other children to the account, as well.
Once your account has been established, you can add or delete contact information and determine how you would like to receive attendance calls and outreach messages, which include weather-related school closures or delays, upcoming events, due dates, and other such notices. Early-morning announcements about school closures or delays will be sent only by text or email, not by telephone.