Rapid Alert Update:
Did you miss the opportunity to opt-in? It’s not too late to subscribe. For parents and guardians, from your cell phone simply text the word “YES” to 67587 and you will receive future notifications in the event of an emergency at your child’s school. The cell phone you use to subscribe must match the emergency contact information on file at your child’s school in order to receive future Rapid Alert messages.
Fresno Unified employees can subscribe by texting their employee ID number to (559) 795-3873.
Fresno Unified is formally launching Rapid Alert- the district emergency notification system. Rapid Alert will send a text message to the cell phones of our parents or guardians in the event an incident occurs on campus that will disrupt the school day or cause an early dismissal. This system provides an additional tool for quickly notifying parents/guardians and staff, above and beyond the district’s current PhoneMessenger notification system. Because a text message only allows for 160 characters, messages will be brief, but will provide pertinent details and any necessary instructions.
Currently, we notify parents through a district or school site phone message—this will continue, but we know that there are times when taking a phone call is not ideal—you’re driving, in a meeting or a doctor’s office. It is our hope that the visual Rapid Alert text message will help ensure parents receive that message quickly—and in English and Spanish.
At the start of every school year, parents complete a yellow emergency card and those contact numbers are inputted into the district’s student database at each school site. Over winter break we had a team at every school site in the district ensuring those emergency contact phone numbers were accurately inputted into the system. We want to encourage parents that in the event your cell phone numbers change, please be sure to notify your child’s school site, provide them the new cell phone number so you can be sure not to miss a Rapid Alert notification, in the event, there is a safety issue at school.
So what kind of safety issue will warrant a Rapid Alert? The district has given that question a lot of thought and have determined the system will be used in the event there is a safety issue at a school site that is going to 1) disrupt the school day or 2) cause an early dismissal. So for example:
- A gas leak
- Water main break that requires early dismissal
- Foggy day schedule impacting classes or buses
- School cancellation (district-wide power or phone outage for example)
- Full-scale reunification causing early dismissal
- Lockdowns that impact arrival and dismissal
It’s extremely important that parents are aware of this new communication tool, but we can’t emphasize enough how vital it is that parents update their school sites when they change their contact information, especially their cell phone. If a child’s school doesn’t have an emergency contact in the system, there is no way to communicate. We hope parents understand the value of this tool, for the sake of their child and the safety of our entire Fresno Unified community.