Emergency Messaging System and Profile Updates

Emergency Messaging System and Profile Updates
Our new emergency messaging system, BrightArrow.  Our most common use of this system is for weather delays/closings and other emergency changes in schedules.  These messages will be sent out via phone calls, emails, and text messages.  We will send out more information about how this service works next week.
BrightArrow gets its contact information directly from the profile information in the Spalding Portal.  In order to verify your information, we will issue a Profile Update Form in the Spalding Portal later today.  This form will remain open for the next week.  We urge you to take this opportunity to update your profile information: address changes, phone number changes or additions, email changes, etc. 
Just like the Handbook Acknowledgement Form that many of you have already filled out, the Profile Update Form will be available once you login to the Portal at archbishopspalding.org.  If you do not see a link directly to the forms via a yellow banner across the top of the page, click your name in the upper right, then click Profile & Forms and select the Profile Update Form.
If you have any questions about this process, please email edtech@spaldinghs.org.
The Department of Education Technology

See below for a letter to Parents regarding BrightArrow messaging procedures. 

Dear Parent,
To enhance communications between the school and parents, Archbishop Spalding High School is instituting a telephone, email and text message broadcast system that will enable school personnel to notify all households and parents by telephone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes an early dismissal, school cancellation, or a late start. The service also may be used from time-to-time to communicate general announcements or reminders. This service is provided by BrightArrow Technologies.
When used, the service will simultaneously call the phone numbers in our parent contact database. The service will deliver the message to both live answer and answering machines. Unanswered calls and busy signals will be automatically retried twice in 15 minute intervals after the initial call.
Here is some specific information you should know.
  • Caller ID. The Caller ID will display the main number for Archbhisop Spalding High School
  • Live Answers: Please answer your phone as you normally would by saying “Hello” immediately. The message should start playing right away. Please do not talk while it is speaking as sounds may cause the message to stop and then start over when it hears silence. Inform all family members of this process who may answer your phone. Note: If you have unavoidable background sounds that are causing the message to stop and restart repeatedly, you can press the Star key to have it start again from the beginning without repeating. If you must answer with background sounds, you might mute your telephone or also put your hand over the mouthpiece of your telephone to prevent the system from stopping and restarting.
  • Answering Machines or Voice Mails: The system will detect that your voice mail has answered and will play the recording to your machine or voice mail.
  • Message Repeat: At any time during the message you may press the Star key on your telephone to repeat the message in its entirety.
  • Emails: If the school sends out a message by email as well as voice, and if you supply the school with your email address, you can be included in the email broadcasting service.
BrightArrow, the service provider, uses the best available technology in the industry to detect the difference between human answer and machine answer.
How the detection works:
  1. The system calls your phone and starts speaking immediately when you answer.
  2. By listening while it is speaking, the system decides whether it thinks it has reached a live person or voice mail. So that it thinks you are a live person, you simply say “Hello” or an equivalent short statement when you answer, and then be quiet to hear the message.
  3. If it is not sure whether it reached a live person or voice mail, the system must allow for the possibility that it might be voice mail, so it stops the audio upon hearing sound and starts it up again upon hearing silence – that way it will reliably leave a full message on a voice mail or answering machine.
  4. Sometimes you will hear a little snippet of sound at the beginning of your voice mail recording, followed by the whole message. If that happens, it is simply because of a pause before your beep that caused the audio to start, stop, and start again to ensure it leaves the full message. In that case, it is working as intended.
Some reasons for false detection:
  1. Loud background noise, television, radio, ring back tones, or a generally noisy environment.
  2. Using the speakerphone feature on your telephone makes background sounds as loud as your voice, or louder.
  3. Not saying hello, delaying saying hello, saying hello more than once, or talking while the system is speaking to you.
What can be done to remedy this?
  1. Say Hello immediately and then be silent, and do not say Hello more than once.
  2. Do not use Speakerphone on your telephone.
  3. If, after you answer, the message stops and restarts repeatedly, you can mute your phone or cover the mouthpiece of the phone to cutout all background noise. Alternatively, you can press the Star key and the messages will play fully from the beginning without further repeating.

One in Christ

Archbishop Spalding High School

8080 New Cut Road
Severn, MD 21144