School district's response to Katrina rewarded
Innovative communication system helps district win $10,000
Superintendent Lafon and Dir. of Public Information Rochelle Cancienne (right) accept the Grace Under Fire Award
Of all challenges, Hurricane Katrina's effect on area communications proved to be the largest. According to AASA, "Lafon and Cancienne used innovative technology, served on the area-wide emergency operations center, augmented communication through a close relationship with local radio and TV stations and actively cooperated with a variety of local agencies before, during and after Katrina to communicate with staff, parents and other key community stakeholders."
Vital to that communication was Connect-Ed, a web-based phone system that allows the St. Charles Parish School District to contact all parties connected to the district, enabling LaFon and Cancienne to send regular phone messages in midst of a crisis. Connect-Ed stores up to six phone numbers of staff and students, then system spreads out like a web ensuring a connection.
In 2004, when Cancienne began the search for a communication system, she said that finding one that would handle the daily challenges, such as informing a parent of an absentee student, to a crisis like a hurricane evacuation were all part of what she wanted. Connect-Ed provides that flexibility.
During Katrina, Cancienne said getting the message out was essential. "The key was having one voice, which is what (the school board) prides itself on," she said, adding that this helps cut down on confusion. Cancienne said that the projection of a unified message also eases anxiety from those displaced.
"The great part about this system is once the calls go out I get a report, Cancienne said, allowing her to know exactly how many people have been reached.
Of the message that went Saturday night from Superintendent Lafon, 86 percent of staff and students heard the message, and Cancienne was informed how many were live connections how many were answering machines.
Costing about $38,000 per year, Cancienne said that the system is worth every cent.
State Sen. Gary Smith says there's been talk about a gasoline tax hike for years,...
Recognized as an educator who inspires students toward conservation and the...
It was hard enough for Jimmy Stuard to deal with a diagnosis of colon cancer...
Rodney Naquin Jr. was sentenced to 29 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a...
All of the ongoing renovations and upgrades to Rathborne Park aren’t quite...
Katie Beuttner has always loved the water....
Bent's RV is a Full Service RV Dealership in Louisiana.
Luling native helps start ‘fake news’ website - 1423 views
When “fake news” gained notoriety in the Trump-Clinton presidential campaign and remained a concern after the election, Kaylin Parker became one of the people dedicated to helping flush it out.