New Technology Pottsgrove’s Tool To Get Messages Out

POTTSTOWN PA – A Los Gatos CA technology company will be relied upon by the Pottsgrove School District this fall to ensure parents, staff members, and community residents get messages they want about what’s happening within, outside, or around the schools.

New Technology Pottsgrove's Tool To Get Messages OutThe Board of School Directors recently agreed to pay $5,729 to contract during the 2014-2015 academic year for the services of SchoolMessenger, a company founded in 1999 and headquartered south of San Jose. It will provide Pottsgrove with what it claims is the ability “to prepare personalized and timely messages in any language, delivered through voice, SMS text, e-mail, social media or a website post.”

During the past year parents of Pottsgrove students and others complained, primarily via social media, they either failed to receive messages they considered important, or received them too late, or had their devices and in-boxes hit with repeated messages. District Technology and Communications Director Michael Wagman promised a different solution; SchoolMessenger is it, at a cost of about $1,800 more annually, he told directors.

SchoolMessenger works with the district’s other major software package, PowerSchool, a web-based student information system that lets parents access everything from activity schedules to daily homework assignments and test scores. More than 700 other districts nationwide currently use the SchoolMessenger-PowerSchool combination, according to the company.

Signing an agreement with SchoolMessenger was one of several actions board members took during their June 17 meeting to prepare for re-opening the schools late next month. They also:

  • Agreed to pay a total of $54,427 to the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit for technology assistance, including its licenses for and hosting of PowerSchool, internet services, streaming services, and a learning management system;
  • Retained Jessica Ferraro to provide physical therapy services, and Susan Cleaver for speech therapy services, both at rates of $70 hourly; Lapreziosa Occupational Therapy Services of Pottstown, at rates not specified in the board agenda, for occupational therapy; and the non-profit Berks Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Services of Reading PA for hearing services assistance; and
  • Awarded fall athletic supply materials bids valued at $30,659 to Riddell, Garden State Apparel, BSN Sports, and Ampro Sports.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ June 17 meeting):

Photo from the SchoolMessenger website

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