Rapid Communication / Emergency Closings
District 300 uses communications software from ParentLink to quickly send automated news via email and telephone to D300 families and staff members. In our district, this is called the Rapid Communication System, or “RCS.” Please work with your school secretary, or call D300 Communication Services at 847.551.8344, for assistance on matters that are not addressed below.
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about the RCS:
Q1: I am a parent/guardian. I didn’t get an RCS phone call or email but other parents at my school did. Why not?
A1: To reach parents/guardians, the RCS uses the contact information listed in PowerSchool SIS. Parents who have not provided their current phone or email information to their school secretary, which can be done during annual registration or anytime during the school year, may not receive all RCS notices. The system updates nightly based on the most current information in PowerSchool SIS.
As a parent, if you didn’t get a call/email but you see that your contact information is listed accurately by checking your PowerSchool SIS account, your next step would be to call your school office. The secretary will look up the report of recent calls/emails and see what may have happened when the RCS attempted to reach you. Additional tests and trouble-shooting steps can be taken as needed by working with your school secretary.
Q2: I am a D300 staff member. I didn’t get an RCS phone call or email but my colleagues did. Why not?
A2: To reach D300 staff members, the RCS uses the phone contact information listed in Lawson and their district-issued email address. Staff members who have not provided their current phone number to Lawson, which staff should maintain using Lawson Employee Self-Service, may not receive all RCS calls. The system updates nightly based on the most current information in Lawson.
As a staff member, if you didn’t get a call but you see that your contact information is listed accurately in Lawson, your next step would be to call D300 Communication Services at 847.551.8344. The communication specialist will look up the report of recent calls and see what may have happened when the RCS attempted to reach you. Additional tests and trouble-shooting steps can be taken as needed by working with D300 Communication Services. NOTE: If you are on “leave” from the district, you will not receive RCS communications.
Q3: Which phone numbers does the RCS call?
A3: When sending an RCS call, the principal/designee decides whether the message is considered an emergency.
NON-EMERGENCY calls only go to one phone number per student household. (If the student's household is split, the system will call one number per household, meaning both mom and dad if they live separately.) The system will always start with the home number. If there is no valid home number on file or it cannot be reached, the system will then try to reach the parent's cell number.
EMERGENCY calls will automatically go to both the home and cell numbers for all student households.
Work phone numbers are not used for emergency or non-emergency RCS calls.
RCS calls to staff use the phone numbers listed in Lawson Self-Serve. Non-emergency staff calls go to the primary number on file in Lawson. Emergency staff calls go to both the primary and "supplemental" numbers on file in Lawson. Staff members are responsible for maintaining their own contact information in Lawson.
Q4: What kinds of information can I expect to receive via the RCS?
A4: At the district level, RCS phone calls from the Superintendent/designee are typically limited to time-sensitive or emergency announcements that impact the majority of the D300 community. These may include, but not be limited to, district-level news about school closings, emergency late starts, emergency early releases, and community safety/health alerts. For general, non-emergency district news, the Superintendent/designee typically uses the email option. Therefore, it is very important that parents keep a current email address on file in PowerSchool SIS to ensure they receive district announcements.
At the school level, RCS communications from the Principal/designee may either be for time-sensitive/emergency matters, or for general announcements such as news about exams, special events, or report cards. Principals are encouraged to align their use of the RCS to the goals in their School Improvement Plan (SIP).