Friday, January 08, 2010

Enough School Robo-calls already!

The call about Open House was okay. Likewise the reminder of Parent- teacher conferences.

But the calls about Homecoming? Not needed. As if a kid would forget spirit days, the football game, and the dance? Not likely.
Or the call announcing, "As of today, school is officially on winter break." Likewise. Any teenager who didn't know when break started is not exactly a star student to begin with.
"Don't forget to check the Lost and Found! All items will be donated to Goodwill next week." Could you not run this on the daily announcements and be done with it?
"Final Exams will take place on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd. All fines must be paid by then." Um... could the school system not get this across more efficiently? Maybe the novel approach of actually contacting students with fines and leaving the rest of the families alone?

It gets worse. Robo-secretary called on a Friday evening informing us that our child had been marked absent from a class that day. Amigo had no idea what had happened. He, like others with Asperger's, thrives on routine. Missing a class is not on his agenda. He swore he hadn't missed anything that day or any other day. Chuck stopped in to visit the school office the following Monday to investigate: it was a mistaken call. The system had gotten out of hand and called the families of every student in the school, including the associate principal and her freshman son. Now the very same associate principal was faced with making apologies to 400 families.

It gets better -- or at least more humorous. We were shocked with a robo-call at 5:30 one morning. Yes, I said morning. 5:30 A.M. Local High School families were awakened to find out that the following morning was Senior Spirit Day, the day that all seniors wear school colors and "skip" homeroom to take a class picture in the gym.
Oops. Someone programmed A.M. instead of P.M. this time.
To repair the error, the same secretary recorded a new call apologizing for the mistake, and sent it out that night at the correct time. At 5:30 P.M. came the automated and recorded message from Robo-Call High School, explaining the AM/PM mistake and reminding parents of the senior spirit specialty sprockets and ....IS THIS REALLY SO BLASTED IMPORTANT???!!!

Give it up already! If it's important, please call me. Call Chuck. Call my kid to the office to remind him of his fines (actually, he has none). If he's missing something, he'll find his way to the Lost and Found and bring a friend along to search (he's blind, remember?). If he cares about Senior Spirit Day, he'll set out his clothes the night before. He'll get to the gym. It doesn't take a phone call, much less one made at an inhuman hour of the morning.

Thank goodness for caller ID - at least when I'm awake, I can screen the calls.


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Blogger Liberty Rose said...

Agreed. We get many at our house about all the elementary school goings on. How about all the calls we got from the assistant superintendent regarding the H1N1 clinics? Caller ID is a beautiful thing.

1/08/2010 8:06 AM  
Blogger Earth Muffin said...

You mean it's not just us?! The district we live in, that our boys attend, is pretty good about only robo-calling about truly important closings, Parent-teacher conferences. But the district Mr. EM and I work for is AWFUL...calling every time a student exhales, it seems. I like the whole robo-call concept, my building has never been great about using a phone tree appropriately. Our district just doesn't know how to put the idea to use effectively.

1/08/2010 8:52 AM  
Blogger Eileen said...

just got one 2 days ago..letting everyone know they extended the time for Seniors to "buy" a page in the their pushing what they want to sell! Fantastic. lol

1/08/2010 9:26 AM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Yeah, I think that constitutes abuse of the robo-call system. I thought I wanted our district to get it, but now I am convinced to be happy without it!

1/08/2010 9:47 AM  
Blogger Flea said...

Ours hasn't gotten quite that ridiculous, but I do answer and listen for about 5 seconds then hang up. If I don't answer, it calls back.

1/08/2010 10:31 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Wow. In my day, they used to just send home a note.

1/11/2010 9:52 AM  

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