Friday, February 5, 2016

Follow Up to Morning Announcements

Good morning. I hope this note finds you somewhere warm and not driving around the roads.  They are getting more challenging by the minute.
I wanted to apologize if you did not receive your "robo-call" on my announcement to cancel school today in a timely fashion this morning.  I understand that many of you wait on that phone call but, for some reason, the company we use to send our messages had major delays in getting out voice mails this morning.
Once the determination was made to cancel school, I put in my message through Blackboardconnect (the system sending this email) around 5:30  AM.  The message was to be sent via email and through voice mail.  The messages were sent by 5:36 AM.  The emails went as planned, but the voice mail took anywhere from 20 minutes to 50 minutes to get out to everyone.  Similar delays happened to dozens of districts in the region.  This is unacceptable and I've contacted Blackboardconnect to voice my concerns.
Please know that when we have weather like today and emails and voice mails go out, there are still a variety of other ways we communicate this message.  Between 5:34 and 5:45 AM this morning, the cancellation message was posted on my twitter account (@MarshfieldSuper),  as well as on the Superintendent's Blog (  In addition, cancellation notices were posted on the local television channels (WBZ, WCVB, WHDH and WFXT) and WATD was notified.  So if you feel you're not getting a phone call in a timely fashion, you will always be able to check these other outlets to find out what is going on.
We work closely with our DPW and safety officials to make sure we make the best call possible on behalf of our students and staff and we want to make sure the message gets out in a timely fashion as well.
I also want to thank the 1,000+ followers we now have on Twitter, but please know I will not be able to answer individual questions pertaining to school closings throughout the evening or morning of a storm.  If I were to respond to every request as they are put up on Twitter, there could be a variety of mixed messages out there in social media, before we've had the chance to weigh all the factors and make the best decision we can.  Once a final and official determination is made, I will send out notification through the means explained above.  Ideally, if we can make the call the night before, that is what we will do.  There will be days like today however, when we have to wait until the morning to make that call.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.