I love the automated message systems that our school use now to keep parents informed. Almost all winter long we have been getting call from our superintendent announcing a school delay or cancellation. Mr Eaglowski records a unique message for each occasion and always gives an explanation for the decision. With all the horrible weather this year, hundreds of people can now recognize their superintendent's voice even if they don't know his face.
The vocational school my eldest attends also uses an automated message service. Sadly, they only use the computer generated voice or one that sounds just as generic. This same system calls to report student absences. I got an unexpected call from them today saying my son wasn't where I thought he was.
I quickly called the school office and asked about my son. I said he should be there. The secretary looked at her information and said the teacher had marked him absent. At this point she could have said "well, he must be absent" but she didn't. She dropped whatever she had been doing and worked until she found an answer.
My son's class is Precision Machining. There is no way she could simply make a quick phone call to the classroom and ask the teacher. Odds are the phone would never be heard. She walked to the room and found the class gone. She tracked them down to the computer lab.
Within a few minute she called me back with her results. There are two "Nathaniels" in the class. The teacher marked the wrong one absent. A simple and easy mistake to make. I am very grateful to her for taking the time to find an answer.
In a time when so many things are computer generated and automated, it is nice to know that there is also a person I can call. A real live person who will listen to my question and find an answer beyond the one on her computer screen.
Thank you Sentinel Staff!