The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 27, 2013

School changing notification system

OTTUMWA — Upcoming computer changes mean the school will send out some information a bit differently.

Most parents in Ottumwa have discovered that a text message from the school district is more reliable than a long-forgotten, crumpled-up announcement in their child's backpack.

"Mass text messaging" has become popular locally. If the Ottumwa school district has to let kids out early due to slick roads, the superintendent types one text, puts it on Ed Alert! and every parent who subscribed gets a text on their phone or an email: School's getting out at 1 p.m.

As of July 1, the district will no longer have the Ed Alert! program.

"We're transitioning into a different Internet service," said Superintendent Davis Eidahl. "Ed Alert! was run on the old provider's system."

The new system, Power School, has its own program, Power Announcement. For parents, the changeover will not be automatic. However, signing up will be done in much the same way as Ed Alert! at the beginning of each school year.

"Ed Alert! has been available since we started with this company, probably four years ago," said Kim Hellige, director of community programs. "It's a really good system that allows us to communicate with our families very quickly."

But the new program, Power Announcement, looks just as good or better, she said.

Officials say to avoid clutter, they'll purge the old system of names and numbers. At the beginning of the school year, parents will again be able to sign up. At its maximum participation, the mass communication system had 4,000 members: students, teachers, parents and some community members interested in school status.

The district is also on Twitter and got on Facebook not quite two years ago.

"We're always looking for ways to expand our ways of communicating with stakeholders," Eidahl said. "Everyone has a comfort level with different technology."

The Ed Alert! program is expected to cut off July 1. "Opt in" for the new system will be in August. Watch school social media for details.

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

  • Three-day forecast Today ... Sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight ... Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Sunday ... Partly su

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition