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Ypsilanti Schools accept transportation consolidation
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 8, 2010   ·   3:07 p.m.

Connie Shelton, an East Middle School Teacher, speaks against the WISD transportation consolidation plan at Monday's special meeting of the Ypsilanti Board of Education. The board approved the motion to join the consolidation by a vote of 5 to 2.

"Shame on you" echoed through the audience Monday night after the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education approved a plan to join a countywide consolidated...read more

Willow Run appoints new board member
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 5, 2010   ·   8:16 a.m.

The Willow Run School Board looks on as Kristine Thomas, a district parent and previous board member, is sworn in as trustee on Thursday night. Thomas will take the position of Joi Jenson who resigned in early May.

The Willow Run School Board appointed a new, yet familiar trustee to the board of education during their regular meeting Thursday night.

Kristine Thomas, a Willow...read more

Willow Run approves county-wide transportation plan
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 27, 2010   ·   2:09 p.m.

The Willow Run School District signed on to a countywide consolidated transportation plan at their regular board meeting last week.

The plan aims to save transportation...read more

Lincoln offers summer courses to area high-schoolers
By Mark Tower
May. 26, 2010   ·   7:49 p.m.

Students from Lincoln and other nearby districts are being invited to participate in Lincoln High School's Summer Academy this year, registration for which opened...read more

Willow Run terminates student services administrator
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 26, 2010   ·   12:26 a.m.

Willow Run School Board President Sheri Washington said she didn't know if the district was going to press charges against former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks after the board fired Hicks during a special meeting Tuesday night.

The Willow Run Board of Education unanimously voted to terminate its contract with former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks Tuesday night during a special...read more

Willow Run to decide on phone notification system

The Willow Run Board of Education heard a presentation from North Carolina-based AlertNow last week, about their phone message delivery system. Photo by AlertNow

The Willow Run Board of Education heard a presentation from North Carolina-based AlertNow last week, about their phone message delivery system.

$2,000 - $3,000 package would keep parents in the loop about district, students

By Dan DuChene
Feb. 12, 2009    ·    1:48 a.m.

Next week, Willow Run Schools will be voting on a district-wide telecommunication system they expect to help disseminate information to the community.

The Web-based software, valued at $2,000 to $3,000 a year, would allow district administrators to send voice and text messages to parents in the districts, alerting them to snow days or a truant child.

During a presentation made to the district’s board of education at their meeting last week, Ryan Nash, of North Carolina-based AlertNow, said the system could be linked with the district’s grade and attendance reporting service Power School. He said an automatic notification could be sent out to parents whose children are missing school.

“That was the feature that sold me,” said Superintendant Doris Hope-Jackson. “We are hoping it will improve attendance.”

Sam Still, Willow Run attendance officer, said the district currently uses an antiquated system for notifying parents about truancies. With these two services, however, he said the system would pretty much run itself, and almost instantly.

“I felt very strongly about bringing in this program,” Still said.

Though there was no formal bid process, Still said staff had compared AlertNow’s service and price with other companies.

“We shopped around,” he said. “This was the best deal and also the best program.”

Nash said his company works with 2,000 districts in all 50 states, with 50 clients in Michigan. He said Saline Area Schools use the service.

During his presentation, Nash said AlertNow can send out recorded messages to 6,000 people at a time using telephone, text messaging and e-mail. He said district staff can drill down information about the response to those messages, including if some one picked up, how long they stayed on the line and if a voicemail was left.

Nash also said the system could be used to conduct phone surveys to families in the district, or alert parents their children could be home late from the basketball game.

“I think it’s a useful (public relations) tool,” Still said.

Jackson said the district’s board of education will likely have something to vote on at its next meeting Thursday.

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