PEI

Parents on P.E.I. will be able to receive school emergency alerts through text soon

Parents on Prince Edward Island will soon be able to receive emergency alerts through text messages from school administrators when necessary.

System designed to get alerts, such as early dismissals or bus accidents, to parents more quickly

P.E.I.'s Department of Education is rolling out an emergency alert system soon. This file photo shows a provincial alert on a phone regarding a stay-at-home order in Ontario. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Parents on Prince Edward Island will soon be able to receive emergency alerts through text messages from school administrators when necessary.

The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning is launching the alert system to get important messages on time sensitive situations as quickly as possible to parents and guardians.

"This new system is designed to inform parents in situations such as school evacuations, early dismissals or school bus accidents," Minister of Education Natalie Jameson said in a statement.

"We are also working to see if this new tool could be used to support the COVID-19 response when we have an exposure at a school."

'This is just an added feature within the PowerSchool system and again, a really great opportunity to help communicate with our parents and families,' says Education Minister Natalie Jameson. (Government of PEI)

Parents who have shared their cellphone numbers with the schools can opt in to receive the notifications by texting "Y" or "Yes" to 978338 for Canadian-based numbers or 61569 for U.S.-based numbers.

"They will receive a text message next week for February 7, asking them to opt in," Jameson said. 

Jameson said there were no additional costs in creating the system because it's part of the province's PowerSchool system. 

"This is just an added feature within the PowerSchool system and again, a really great opportunity to help communicate with our parents and families."

PowerSchool is a software which tracks student attendance, marks, and helps with other school management needs.

A test of the school emergency alert system will happen Feb.11 at 4 p.m.

Parents and guardians who do not receive a text, or those who have questions can reach out to their school to ensure their mobile number is correctly recorded.

With files from Angela Walker

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