Three Forks Schools Install New Alert System - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Three Forks Schools Install New Alert System

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THREE FORKS - Three Forks Schools are installing a new alert system that will send out notifications to parents.

This comes after a juvenile was arrested last week for allegedly sending text messages, threatening the schools and its students.

Cathe Felz has been a teacher at Three Forks Schools for more than 25 years. She said the rumors that spread throughout the community after the threat, could have been avoided.

"I think it's a great way for the school to avoid having rumors spread," said Felz.

The district will implement a new alert system, beginning this fall. The system is called School Reach. The system will call or message parents to inform them of anything going on from emergency situations to weather delays to changes in sporting events.

"The voicemail is on the telephone then it rings to the person's house," said Robert DoBell, Three Forks High School Principal. "It can also go out via text or can post to your Facebook or Twitter."

Currently, the school sends out notifications through press releases that are sent home with students and posted on the school's website.

"Kids sometimes forget to give the message to their parents or it will be at the bottom of the backpacks," said DoBell. "We want to get the messages out to parents as quickly as possible."

School officials wanted to install the system prior to the text message threats, but DoBell said the lack of communication between the school and parents during that time was a push to get the system sooner.

"It's something we always wanted," said DoBell. "It's not a reaction of recent incidents, but it's something that we've wanted for two years ."

"It makes me safer as my job and my kids safer," said Felz. "If we know what's going on ahead of time, the kids are less likely to panic."

DoBell said the new system will cost about $2 per student.

Currently, 50 schools in Montana use the school reach system.
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