School Closing Information
From My Corner – November 2012
When there is a late start, early dismissal or a school closing, thirty (30) different radio and television entities are contacted. Radio stations contacted include KLGA, Algona (92.7 FM & 1600 AM); KFMC, Fairmont (106.5 FM); KSUM, Fairmont (1370 AM); KUUY Hot 100, Spencer (100.1 FM); KILR, Estherville (95.9 FM & 1070 AM); KICD, Spencer (107.7 FM & 1240 AM); KLLT, Spencer (104.9 FM); KBEW, Blue Earth (98.1 FM & 1560 AM); KKEZ, Fort Dodge (94 FM); KWMT, Fort Dodge (540 AM); KZLB, Fort Dodge (92.1 FM); KXFT, Fort Dodge (99.7 FM); KIAQ, Fort Dodge (96.9 FM); KVFD, Fort Dodge (1400 AM); KTLB, Twin Lakes (105.9 FM); WHO, Des Moines (1040 AM); KEEZ, Mankato (99.1 FM); KYSM, Mankato (103.5 FM); KRBI, Mankato (105.5 FM) and KMKO, Mankato (95.7 FM). Television stations contacted include KIMT, Mason City (Channel 3); WHO, Des Moines (Channel 13); KCCI, Des Moines (Channel 8); KTIV, Sioux City (Channel 4); KEYC, Mankato (Channel 12) and WOI, Ames (Channel 5). Please do not call the school to ask if there is an early dismissal. Once that decision is made those stations and channels need to be notified. If we have incoming calls it ties up the lines making it impossible to call out. If there is going to be an early dismissal please listen to one of the above channels or stations instead of calling the school.
Please listen to these stations for weather related information. Weather situations can change rapidly so when a late start is announced continue to listen for a possible closure. I realize that many of you are dedicated to particular radio or television stations but it might not hurt to check out more than one. My experience has shown that stations don’t always get the message aired in a timely fashion or at times do not get the message on the air at all. Therefore you may want to check a couple of sources when there is bad weather. Many of the stations also have late start, early dismissal or closing information on their websites. Many stations also provide a notification service that sends emails or text messages regarding school status in bad weather.
Another very handy method of notification is to subscribe to Iowa School Alerts at https://schoolalerts.iowa.gov . School Alerts is a free, easy-to-use program that is simply the result of finding an answer to a common problem: When school needs to be closed, how do we easily notify everyone who needs to know?
When schools need to dismiss classes, close early or start late due to bad weather or other circumstances, how do parents and care-givers find out? If they are listening to the radio or watching TV they can hear or see the list of school notices there, but what about taking the notification process a step further and contact them directly?
And what about those school administrators who currently have a long list of numbers to call when school is cancelled? What if they only had to log in and send out one message that will reach all media outlets, parents, daycare providers and other interested individuals who have signed up?
School Alerts provides a solution to both of these problems. School administrators can sign up to post notices about school closings, delays and early dismissals, and media outlets, parents and others can sign up to "watch" certain schools or school districts, and receive instant notifications when those school administrators post a notice.
There are two ways for parents, guardians, daycare providers, school staff and the media to receive notifications:
• E-mail Alerts - When a school notice is sent out, you can receive an e-mail at home, work, or on e-mail-enabled mobile devices like cell phones and PDAs. To find out if you can receive e-mails on your mobile device, contact your service provider. Please note that School Alerts is not responsible for any fees your service provider may charge for receiving alerts.
Once you create an account, you can add as many e-mail addresses for as many schools or school districts as you like.
• RSS Feed - School Alerts provides a Rich Site Summary (RSS) feed for websites that wish to give their site users a comprehensive list of notifications. This is a great way for the media, community sites and school-related organizations to publish notifications on their own website. You can personalize the RSS feed to only include alerts from the school districts in your area.
School Alerts is administered by the Iowa Department of Administrative Services and is offered as a free service for Iowa school districts and citizens.
Announcements will appear as North Union Schools and all buildings will either be delayed, out early or closed as indicated in the announcement.