Connect5 Message Center


Closings, Cancellations, and Delays Due to Weather Conditions or Unsafe Conditions
In the interest of student safety, decisions to close schools, delay school openings, or dismiss early due to inclement weather conditions or unsafe building conditions are made by the superintendent after consulting with the district's Transportation or Maintenance Departments, the NC Department of Transportation, and local and state police and emergency responders.
As soon as a decision is made, parents and guardians will be notified using theConnect5 parent notification system by phone and email. In addition toConnect5, you may also use the following resources to confirm the status of school operations should there be inclement weather conditions.


School closing or delay announcements, due to inclement weather or unsafe conditions, are made in the following order:

  1. Connect5 Message sent out
  2. Display on NCS Web Site: http://www.northampton.k12.nc.us
  3. Display on NCS Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jackson-NC/Northampton-County-Schools/131060140249165?ref=sgm (Click on Like to subscribe)
  4. Local radio and television stations (WRAL, WITN, WNCT, WTVD, NBC17, WAVY, WVEC, and WTKR)


Think you may have missed a Connect5 call or email?

To replay any missed district message, you can call Blackboard Connect Message Replay line. 

Simply dial 1-855-4-REPLAY, and choose the message you would like to review.  **Please note that you must call from the phone that received the Blackboard Connect message.**



Contact Your School or Work Site to Make Sure They Have
Your Current Phone Number(s) and Email Address(es)

As a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in Northampton County Schools, will I need to register or sign-up to receive messages from Connect5?
If you are a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in Northampton County Schools, you are not required to register for the Connect5 parent notification system. ALL parents and guardians of students enrolled in the school district are automatically enrolled. The only thing you have to do is make sure that the school has your current phone number(s) and email address(es), if you choose. Please let emergency contacts know that you have given out their numbers.

How will parents/guardians be notified by Connect5?
As the parent/guardian of a student, it is important for you to understand how messages will be delivered to you.
  • For non-emergency messages, you will receive a telephone call most likely to your home/primary phone.
  • Should a school emergency occur, in addition to being called at home, you will also be notified through the various emergency phone numbers you have given the school.
  • In addition to being notified by phone during a school emergency, you will also receive messages via email.
  • This notification system has the capability of calling five of your phone numbers (home, alternate or cell, and work) and sending messages to up to five different email accounts for parents/guardians identified as residing with the student or identified as receiving copies of student reports.
  • Multiple phone numbers and email addresses will only be used to notify you during a school emergency, closing, or cancellation.

How will Connect5 messages be delivered to staff?
Connect5 will be used to communicate with staff in a timely manner during an
emergency, school closing, or cancellation due to inclement weather. However, since Connect5  will also be used for non-emergency situations, it could be used to communicate with staff on an as-needed basis.  For all staff members, messages will be delivered as follows: 

  • Non-emergency messages - you will receive a telephone call most likely to your home phone. In most cases, such a message would be school-generated. If you have Caller ID, your base school’s main phone number will appear in the display.
  • Emergency, cancellation, or delay messages - you will receive multiple messages that will be sent to your home phone, cell phone, and personal email (if provided). In these cases, such a message would be district generated.  If you have Caller ID, one of the district's main numbers will appear in the display or a 411 number.

How will I know that I have received a message from Connect5?
Here is what you need to know about receiving a phone call via Connect5:

  • If you have Caller ID, for a non-emergency message, the school’s main number will appear in the display.
  • If you have Caller ID, for an emergency message, the district's number will appear in the display.
  • If you have Caller ID, for school closings, cancellations, or delays due to inclement weather the district's number will appear in the display.
  • Connect5 will leave a message on any answering machine or voicemail.
  • If theConnect5 message stops playing, press any key 1-9 and the message will replay from the beginning.
  • At the end of every voice message sent via Connect5, you will be prompted to press #1 on your phone to repeat the message.

As a staff member, how do I update my Connect5 emergency and non-emergency notification information?
Updating your Connect5 information can be accomplished by giving your contact information to the school's data manager. Your data manager will enter all of your contact and emergency contact information into PowerSchool.  All information for Connect5 is pulled from PowerSchool.  If you do not work at a school site, please notify one of the Central Services contacts- Shirl Minton or Rhonda Moses to update your information.  All school staff and student information must be updated at the schools.

Connect5 message was delivered to my phone, I said “hello” and no message played. Why?
The Connect5 system plays the message as soon as the phone is picked up or answered. However, errors can occur if the person repeatedly says "hello" or answers in a noisy environment (i.e. traffic, children playing, loud music or television, dogs barking, etc.). Generally, if a person offers an extended greeting such that it overlaps the Connect5 message, the system pauses, waits for silence, and replays the message from the beginning.

With background noise, it is possible that the system is unable to detect the end of the "greeting" and thus the message did not initiate. In a noisy environment, call recipients can press any number (1-9) and the message will play from the beginning without interruption.

Connect5 message was delivered to my phone, I said “hello” and only part of the message was delivered. Why?
The AlertNow/Connect5 system plays the message as soon as the phone is picked up or answered. However, errors can occur if the person repeatedly says "hello" or answers in a noisy environment (i.e. traffic, children playing, loud music or television, dogs barking, etc.). Generally, if a person offers an extended greeting such that it overlaps the AlertNow/Connect5 message, the system pauses, waits for silence, and replays the message from the beginning. This could result in delivery of only a portion of the message.

With background noise, it is possible that the system is unable to detect the end of the "greeting" and thus the message did not initiate. In a noisy environment, call recipients can press any number (1-9) and the message will play from the beginning without interruption.

How does the Connect5  system distinguish a live person from an answering machine?
In short, Connect5 utilizes the industry's most Advanced Answering Machine Detection (AAMD) software. The system starts the broadcast immediately upon telephone pickup; simultaneously, it is listening for interruptions. If the system is not interrupted by noise or someone speaking within the first 3.5 seconds, the message is delivered in its entirety. If the system detects a greeting longer than a few seconds, the system treats this as an outgoing message from an answering machine and will wait for a pause (usually after the beep) before delivering the message to be recorded.

What if the line is busy or there is no answer?
The Connect5 system will make up to four attempts (depending on account settings) to reach each number, with three minutes in between each call. If the message is not delivered by the fourth attempt, it is considered a failed number. Failures happen when a phone number is busy, disconnected, invalid, etc. If you are aware of a message that was delivered, but you did not receive a call, please contact your school.

Why is my answering machine recording only half of the Connect5 message?
If your answering machine greeting is sporadic with varied periods of silence, the system will read this as a live person and begin playing the message, even though the machine has yet to start recording. This will result in a recording of silence (if the message finishes playing before the machine begins recording) or if just the last portion of the message runs over, this will also result in message cutoff. The recommended solution is to have parents set their machines to record for a longer period.

My Caller ID showed that the school had called but there was no voicemail/message? Why?
If there is a break or a substantial silence in the outgoing message, the system determines it has reached a live person and begins the message prior to the voicemail recording is engaged. Please make sure that the greeting is seamless to facilitate successful message delivery.

 

Are there other reasons why I did not receive a message on my answering machine?
Connect5 will leave a message on the contact's voicemail or answering machine. However, the system is set to ring each line six times. If your answering machine is set to pick up on seven or more rings, the message may not be delivered to your machine. Therefore, we encourage you to set your machine to six rings or fewer.

Why doesn't the school's phone number appear on the Caller ID of my phone?
Connect5 passes the caller ID information to the local telephone carriers, but it is up to those carriers to pass it along to their customers. Furthermore, different local telephone companies process Caller ID information differently. Some provide the name associated with the number, while others do not. For example, a telephone company may require an individual to subscribe to "Advanced Caller ID" in order to receive the school name along with the phone number. Unfortunately, we have no control over this feature.

Will the Connect5 system call phone numbers with extensions?
The Connect5 system only works with direct-dial phone numbers. The system is unable to navigate menus or extensions.

I have a telemarketer screening device. How will that affect the call?
If a contact has a device on their telephone line designed to prevent automated phone systems from connecting (e.g. TeleZapper, privacy Manager, Privacy Director, etc.), they may not receive the call. For example, with Privacy Director all unidentifiable incoming calls are rerouted and the callers must identify themselves for the call to go through. Because our system is automated, it will not identify itself; thus the call will not get through to the recipient. For screening systems that are dependent on Caller ID's, recipients can authorize access for their school's phone number through their device. Note that calls identified with the school's number on the Caller ID generally have no trouble getting through Privacy Manager type systems.

Have a question, suggestion, or comment about Connect5 ?
It is important for us to hear from parents and staff about how we can improve the delivery of this notification system. As a parent or staff member, it is important that you contact us when things go as planned and when we need to make adjustments. Should you have a question, suggestion, or comment about Connect5, please email us at
webmaster@northampton.k12.nc.us.