Mr. John P. Conwell

Phone: (907) 581-3151

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mr. John P. Conwell

 

Superintendent's Report to the Board of Education

 

October 17, 2019

 

     The power outage on Friday, October 4th, reminded us of the need to review and update
our school to home communication plan. The District presently uses SchoolMessenger, a
program that syncs with our student database to update parent contact numbers and sends
automated calls with information about events, school closings, bus delays and more.

     This month, the District is adding a text message notification system to
SchoolMessenger. If parents have a current mobile phone number in our database, they simply
need to text “Y” or “Yes” to 67587 to receive text messages from the school district. An
invitation to subscribe to this service will be sent tomorrow to each parent with a cell phone
number in the SchoolMessenger database.

    In order to add another mode of communicating with the community, the Unalaska
Department of Public Safety has given the District approval to send messages regarding school
closings and bus delays via UPD’s Nixle system. Five pre-scripted messages have been provided
to UPS and are available to send out via Nixle depending on the circumstances of the event.

    Of course, we cannot rely on the phone system If the power is down for an extended
period of time. To that end, the school district has ordered 20 two-way radios to facilitate
communication among school personnel during times when cell service is unavailable.
However, as was the case during the recent 4-hour power outage, we may at times need to do
our best with word-of-mouth communication.

    Continuing with the theme of school to home communications, parents are reminded to
use the FamilyLink Portal, which is another component of SchoolMessenger. The FamilyLink
Portal is accessed with a username and password through the District’s website at
www.ucsd.net. This link allows parents to monitor their student’s academic progress in grades
7 – 12. This is an invaluable tool for parents to proactively seek assistance from a teacher or
principal if they notice their child’s grades slipping.

    We are continually looking for ways to improve our communication with parents and
community members. As always, the District welcomes suggestions and comments from its
stakeholders.