Obion County Board of Education
April 13, 2009

Agenda Item: VIII.K.

Discussion of Parental Communication System

Preliminary Matters:

During the development of the current year’s budget, funds were allocated for the purchase of a parental communication system. Although the Board approved the budget with this appropriation, the Board specifically stated that Board approval was necessary for the purchase, and at the time of adoption, the Board was not ready to give approval. In conformance with the Board’s directive, the parental communication system has not been purchased.

Last month, during the SACS accreditation process, the SACS committee made a recommendation, which we must address, that a parental communication system was necessary in today’s educational environment. A parental communication system can provide a host of services to communicate with parents, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Informing parents of student absences
  • Informing parents of report card dates
  • Informing parents of early school dismissal due to inclement weather
  • Informing parents of school closings due to inclement weather
  • Informing parents of parent-teacher conferences
  • Informing parents of upcoming school events
  • Special announcements, such as student recognitions
  • Informing parents of transportation problems to and from school events

After several demonstrations from various vendors, School Messenger is the program we would recommend if the Board now wishes to pursue this purchase. Mr. Dale Hollowell, Mr. Jason Kendall, and potentially others will be present at the Board meeting to discuss this program. The annual cost is approximately $10,000 per year, and this program is compatible with our student attendance program. School Messenger also allows parents to maintain their own current information, such as change in phone numbers, multiple phone numbers, and requesting which announcements they wish to receive.

Staff Recommendation:

For informational and discussion purposes only.