Tag Archives: notification system

Alton Central School (ACS), N.H., Emergency ‘Contact’ On Telephone System Does Not Work!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘ACS’ for ALL the ‘ACS’ posts
or ‘ACS notification‘ for all ‘notification’ system related posts >>>>


Call up ACS.

You get the usual ‘voice response system’ prompts.

Says, near the top, as it should,
PRESS ‘0’ if an emergency.

Well PRESS ‘0’.

Nothing happens.

The system prattles on, oblivious.

PRESS ‘0’.

Nothing happens.

Press ‘0’.

Nothing happens.

You get my drift. Basically you have to wait for the WHOLE damn spiel, which takes well over a minute.

IF you were calling about an EMERGENCY the emergency would be long gone BEFORE you were able to ENTER the damn ‘0’.


It, as is invariably the case with ACS, of course, gets better.

YOU GET voice-mail!

So, you call up about an EMERGENCY … they keep you hanging … then they give you voice-mail.

Way to go ACS.

What did I do. The only thing I could do.
I reported it to the police.
They happened to be at the house.
So that was handy.
They were intrigued.
They understood my problem.
They were going to look at it.
They were HAPPY that I reported it to them!

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: Phone Notification System — Still In Flux.


Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> ACS Phone Notification System – The Critical Change
>>Jan. 31, 2013.
ACS Phone Notification System Fails AGAIN — Jan
. 30, 2013.

You have to read the above posts, at least the January 31st one, to appreciate the issue.

I had heard yesterday from Deanna, who hears about this stuff, that they were still having issues with the notification system. I am glad that the ACS Director of Technology was just voted the best in the States. Just think, if she wasn’t the best, ACS would probably he trying to notify us of school closings using smoke signals or carrier pigeons (though neither are that good in snow). So, we should be glad.

So, I was told just 9 days ago that there is a difference: emergency vs. notification. Notification, i.e., school delays and closing, only result in one call per family, emergencies, i.e., afternoon activities cancelled, goes to all listed phone numbers.

Well, appears that they still can’t get the notification system working properly.

This morning, though it was but a school closing, i.e., notification, they called on ALL lines. So we got 3 calls plus e-mail. THAT IS FINE. Thank you. Better than not getting one. Just seems crazy that they can’t get the system sorted out.

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: Phone Notification System — THE CRITICAL CHANGE.


Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> ACS Phone Notification System Fails AGAIN — Jan. 30, 2013.

Kudos and thanks for Alton School Board Member,
Steve Miller,

for helping me pursue this issue.

Thank you for Lynn Whitehouse of ACS
who called me this morning

and patiently explaining how the system works.
Lynn is always good.

I have cracked the code.

Thanks to Lynn I now know that ACS make a distinction between ‘emergencies‘ and closing/delays. That makes all the difference.

‘Emergencies’, which could include notification of the cancellation of afternoon, after-school programs, result in phone calls going out to ALL listed phone numbers — plus e-mail. That would explain why this Monday we got 3 phone calls and two e-mails.

School cancellations and delays don’t count as emergencies. So only ONE call per family is made; to the phone number they have at the top of the list. So, that explains why the cell phones didn’t ring yesterday.

But, here is the issue. Deanna, who stays on top of this stuff, was NOT aware that delays/cancellations ONLY go to one phone numbers. She also assures me that others had the same problem yesterday.

So, here is the ISSUE as I see it now, thanks to Lynn.

Parents need to know that delays/cancellations ONLY go to one phone number — and THEY need to make sure it is the right one.

With luck, Deanna with her magic on Facebook, will determine how many other mothers knew of this little wrinkle. It is pretty clear to me. I had our list juggled around so that Deanna’s cell is now at the top of the list.

So, just a heads up.

Again, many thanks to Steve and Lynn.

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: Phone Notification System Fails AGAIN.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Hurricane Sandy: ACS … Lack Of Phone Notification — Oct. 30, 2012.
ACS: Post-Connecticut, ‘Enhanced Security’ Meeting … — Dec. 18, 2012.

It has happened AGAIN. Happened in October with the ‘Hurricane Sandy‘ school closing and today with the 2 hour school delay.

This is not acceptable. More than ever, with everything you see on the news, including the school bus hijacking yesterday, parents expect (and hope) that the notification system works.

These problems are new as of this school year. This system has worked immaculately in past years.

So what has changed? Pretty obvious to me.

In life there are things that are easy to fix and things that are not as easy to fix. In the case of ACS, fixing overall security or getting rid of the modulars is not easy. Fixing the notification system is. It should be zero tolerance. The administration should not tolerate incompetence not when safety is an issue.

Deanna tells me that others are upset too, as they should be. Supposedly on the ACS Facebook page.

To me the answer very simple. Lets see if they do anything.