When it comes to school notification systems, reliability and ease of use are some of the most important concerns. For districts that use PowerSchool, integration capabilities are another consideration. Hawthorn SD #73 in Illinois made the switch to SchoolMessenger Communicate for all of those reasons and more.
Hawthorn discovered a night-and-day difference between its previous notification system and SchoolMessenger Communicate. This was especially true as far as reliability. Database administrator Lisa Gosen recalls several instances where its previous system failed to send an urgent message to parents in a timely way – or, in some cases, at all. “When you’re trying to send a message, you don’t want to be nervous about whether it will go out or not, how long it will take to go out, etcetera,” Gosen said. With Communicate, she said, she no longer has those sorts of concerns.
Ease of Use
“Of the three notification systems we’ve had, SchoolMessenger Communicate has been the easiest to use,” Gosen said. “It just works.” Gosen praises Communicate’s ability to send messages quickly. “The SchoolMessenger interface is easy to use, and it doesn’t take 3 hours to set up a call,” Gosen noted.
Although Hawthorn’s previous notification system also integrated with PowerSchool, Gosen felt that the system wasn’t reliable enough to meet their needs.
SchoolMessenger Communicate for PowerSchool works well for Hawthorn. Gosen appreciates that Communicate is integrated not only within PowerSchool, but also the parent portal, considering that Hawthorn’s portal is the go-to place for important district information.
Gosen also appreciates the flexibility that Communicate offers. “For a district-wide school closing message, I’ll just go directly to Communicate,” she said. “But if I need to send a message that affects one class, then I’ll go within PowerSchool, find those students, and send the message. It’s nice to have the ability to do either one.”