PUSD To Begin Text Messaging For Parent And Public Communication

Press Release posted 9/5/12 – The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) today announced that parents, students, staff and community members now have another way to receive information from the district. PUSD has partnered with Nixle to provide emergency alerts, district updates and school news via text message and email in both English and Spanish. Nixle is a leading mass notification provider used by thousands of schools, police departments, fire departments and other government agencies around the country.

The aim of the program is to reach PUSD students, parents, faculty and staff quickly by text message and email in the event of an emergency and to improve the quality of communications between the district and the surrounding community and stakeholders. Examples include inclement weather advisories, campus emergencies, closures and early dismissals, event reminders and school newsletters.

Residents can immediately begin opting-in to receive notifications by simply texting the word ‘PUSD’ to 888777; or, for Spanish-language messages, text ‘PUSDESPANOL’ to 888777. Standard text messaging rates associated with mobile phone service plans may apply. It is also possible to sign up for the notification service at the PUSD website, www.pusd.us.

“We want to make sure our students and their parents receive the information that matters most to them, whether it is an urgent safety alert or an update on an afterschool activity,” said PUSD Superintendent Jon R. Gundry. “With Nixle, we have the ability to send timely, relevant notifications quickly and efficiently to the Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre communities. The windstorms of 2011 taught us that we need every communication tool available in English and Spanish the next time we need to alert the public due to an emergency.

One can also receive news and information from the district by texting ‘PUSDNEWS’ to 888777; or, for news and information in Spanish, text ‘PUSDNOTICIAS’ to 888777. Individual schools will soon have the ability to establish opt-in keywords and begin texting to their parents, students, alumni and surrounding community.

In addition to notifying the school community, Nixle’s award-winning approach to mass notification further integrates PUSD into the surrounding neighborhoods and cities. Nixle’s partnerships with area law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Pasadena and Sierra Madre Police Departments allow the district to also share critical, high-priority alerts with area residents in situations where such notifications would also be of interest to the community at-large.

Text messaging will complement the phone and email communication and Twitter and Facebook presence that is already being used by the district. The use of mobile communication by PUSD follows the nationwide trend of how people prefer to receive news and information. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center Study, 47 percent of adults receive local news or information on their mobile device.