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Many options available for ‘magical’ notice

It was such a memorable moment that even now I still vividly remember it from my childhood. It was early morning and the sound of the radio awoke me. The radio never played during those early morning hours unless . . . it snowed!
I hunkered down under the covers and waited for the magical sound that preceded the school closing list. I may not have been able to hear my mom calling from the kitchen when it was time to wash dishes, but I could hear the name of every school system listed clearly. Then, those magical words – school is closed. The feeling was pure joy. I loved school, but nothing like how I loved a snow day.
Times have changed, but not much. All of us involved in education still feel our hearts beat a little faster when those flakes fall. But technology gets the word out much faster. We have the internet and cell phones to help keep us informed. We might still catch the listings scrolling across the bottom of our television screens or hear the DJ give updates, but most of us already know by the time that happens.
It might have been on the school system website or maybe someone posted it on Facebook. You might have even signed up for text alerts from one of our local TV stations.
If snow was the only issue we had to deal with, those things might be enough. As we have seen through recent events, though, there are other dangers lurking out there that might need to be shared at a moment’s notice. That’s why Unicoi County Schools has implemented the use of an alert system. K12 Alerts can notify parents and staff of any important news that may occur, including school closings and delays.
The address for K12 Alerts is http://www.k12alerts.com/portal/unicoicountyschools/. The alert system requires that parents opt-in. In other words, receiving these notifications is not automatic.
To login to K12 Alerts, parents use the same information that is used to check student grades via Skyward. From there, parents should enter their cell phone number and carrier to receive texts, email address for email, or land line number for voice messaging. After doing this, be sure to click the box that says “opt-in” to begin receiving alerts.
Even though it’s convenient to receive notification of a school schedule change, there is a certain peace of mind, that should anything else happen, parents will know quickly what is going on. If you haven’t yet signed up for K12 Alerts, do so right away. Winter may be winding down, but emergencies aren’t always seasonal.
If you need help in signing up for this valuable service, contact the school. They can answer questions and provide you login information. This is one service you really shouldn’t pass up.