The Newark school district uses the SchoolMessenger calling system to keep parents and staff members informed in the event of an emergency or school-related cancellation. The system works by delivering a pre-recorded telephone message to phone numbers specified by the parents and staff members.

While the goal is to contact every person at the number specified, technical problems may prohibit the successful delivery of messages in every case. Specifically, problems with phone lines or cellular connection quality, ambient noise, telephone privacy services, and some outgoing voice mail or answering machine messages may inhibit message delivery.

The following questions and answers address some of the most common concerns with the system:

How many numbers can I specify?
We use the primary numbers specified with your child's enrollment information. However, through the Contact Manager, you may assign up to 3 additional phone numbers and 3 additional emails to be contacted with through calls, texts or email.

How do I change the numbers being called?
Phone numbers for the emergency notification system are collected during the enrollment process. You can change your contact numbers through the Contact Manager, however if you get a new main contact number, please contact your child's school to make an official change.

Why do you call some people and not others for some things?
When an emergency affects some of the school population, but not all of it, only the people affected will be notified. For example, if an elementary school is closed due to a power failure, only the parents and staff members in that school will be notified. This allows us to ensure that we're not needlessly notifying parents of situations that do not affect them.

I missed part of the message. How do I listen again? 
At any time during the message, you can restart the message by pressing your "*" key on your phone.

What if the line is busy or there is no answer?
SchoolMessenger will make up to four attempts to reach you.

Why is my answering machine recording only half of the message?
If the answering machine greeting is sporadic with various periods of silence or does not start playing within three seconds, the system may read this as a live person and begin playing the message before the machine has started recording.

Alternately, if the answering machine is set to record for a specific amount of time (e.g., 30 seconds) and the SchoolMessenger message runs longer than that, this will also result in message cut-off. The recommended solution is to have parents set their machines to record for a longer period.

My caller ID showed that the school had called, but there was no voicemail. Why?
The system will ring a line up to six times. If your answering machine is set to pick up on seven or more rings, the message may not be delivered to your machine. Therefore, we encourage you to set your machine to six rings or fewer. Another possibility is that there is a break or a substantial silence in your machine’s outgoing message, causing the SchoolMessenger message to play prior to the machine actually recording. Please make sure that the greeting is seamless to facilitate successful message delivery.

Will the system call phone numbers with extensions?
ScholMessenger cannot navigate phone menus and is unable to dial extensions.

I have a telemarketer screening device or service. How will that affect the call?
Devices such as TeleZapper and services from the phone company such as Privacy Manager or Privacy Director are specifically designed to prevent “unknown” calls from progressing to the customer’s phone. Emergency calls launched through SchoolMessenger display 740-670-7000 on the caller ID. This number may be listed as an “unknown” number, triggering some privacy manager services. SchoolMessenger's software is designed to distinguish between a live answer and an answering machine, not to navigate though privacy management services. Parents can contact their phone company and request that 740-670-7000 be added to their list of allowed callers.

Contact Manager

Parents can now add up to five phone numbers and five email addresses to the SchoolMessenger system through Contact Manager. Any changes to contact information are not official with your school. If you have changed your phone number, please contact your child's school.

Before signing up through the parent portal, have your student's six-digit ID ready. You must use the ID and your main phone number to connect to the system and add additional contacts.


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