New system alerts parents about activities, weather delays, absences, emergencies

Ali Miller/Staff Writer

In the event of an emergency somewhere in the Cedar Falls School District, parents are now able to be updated within minutes.

ConnectEd is a new program the district has purchased under the safety grant. It could potentially be used for things other than just emergencies. Waterloo schools have had the program for a year now, and East High has used theirs for things such as sporting events and upcoming fundraisers.

Cedar Falls parents recently got a letter in the mail describing the program, and they were able to put up to four contacts that they’d like to have these updates sent to, including a primary one. Since the only numbers the school has to contact families is through Infinite Campus, if a household changes a number or phone company, they need to let the school know; otherwise, they won’t get the ConnectEd updates.

“I think that the situation at UNI a couple of years ago created the process of getting the program,” Principal Dr. Rich Powers said. He was referring to an incident in which a man with a gun was believed to be on the UNI campus.

Households can choose to receive the updates several different ways, either by email, phone call or text. Students can also get these. Coaches could potentially have some uses for this too. If they need to cancel practice or a game gets changed to a different date for some reason or another, they can send out a notification to their athletes.

This program is similiar to the Code Red program. Parents and students can go online to the Code Red website and register for a notification if there was to be a code red. The district has run a test before, and they get feedback on what went through and what didn’t go through. This will help them to fix any bugs if need be.

“We’re taking this process very slowly to minimize the mistakes,” Powers said. Parents can also be notified about tardies or absences. Powers also noted, “I would hope that we use it for things that would be helpful to parents and families.”

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