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When H1N1 Hits, Communication From Schools to Parents is Critical
Date:9/18/2009

UTICA, New York, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As students head back to school, the CDC is reporting increasing influenza activity across the U.S. (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/). With the H1N1 vaccine not yet available, what can schools do to ease parent's minds? Communicate.

Many schools rely on mass notification systems to relay critical information about issues like H1N1 to parents. According to a recent telephone poll conducted by Zogby International, of 1,004 school officials nationwide who have a mass notification system, nearly all (93 percent) have used such a system to communicate with parents about important events including school closings due to weather, pandemic outbreaks or even physical damage to school buildings.

Mass notification systems provide school superintendents and principals with a leadership communications tool, enabling them to communicate directly with their community in an urgent situation, when time and accuracy matter most. By utilizing a trusted multi-modal notification platform, leaders can actually record a message in their own voice, from any phone or mobile device, and send the message via voicemail, e-mail or SMS text within minutes.

This is the second survey conducted by Zogby International to gauge the use of mass notification systems among K-12 school leaders. According to both the 2006 and 2009 polls, Blackboard Inc.'s Blackboard Connect(TM) (or Connect-ED(TM)) remains the market leader, maintaining a 23 percent share of the school systems that use a mass notification system.

The polls also asked school officials about their satisfaction with their parental notification systems. In 2009, 90 percent of school officials who use a Blackboard Connect service said they are very satisfied with it. This consistently
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SOURCE Zogby International
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