High school implements system to keep track of skipping students

School officials are advising parents not to hang up the telephone if they get a call in upcoming weeks and hear a recording.

It might not be a telemarketer.

It might be a recorded message notifying the parent that his or her child had an unexcused absence that day in school.

It's called the "Easy Caller" and it should make frequent school skippers cringe.

Moffat County High School Principal Jane Krogman said the new system, which the school hopes to have running Monday, is a tool to help improve the school's lines of communication with parents.

The system is connected to a computer database, which lists students with unexcused absences during a particular school day.

If a student comes up on the list as missing class, the system will automatically dial the student's home between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. during the school week.

The recording will say:

"This is Moffat County High School calling to inform you that your student missed one or more classes today. If you called in for your student or know they were to leave the building on a blue pass, please disregard the message. If you have any questions please contact Mrs. Farr at 824-7036."

Krogman said the school is implementing the "Easy Caller" to improve the efficiency of the system the school uses to contact parents.

Before, she said, it was the school secretary's job to contact the families of students who missed class.

In the flow of the busy day, the calls did not always get made, and the principal described the system as "hit and miss."

She said school officials realized they were not communicating with parents as well as they would like. And one of the main school goals, she said, is improved communication with families.

The system is being implemented for a simple reason, she said, to try and keep students going to class.

"We're trying to catch things earlier to help kids be successful in high school before they've established a pattern of behavior," she said.

Anytime a student has an unexcused absence, they have to make up the time, usually with a minimum of a three-hour detention.

Krogman said the new "Easy Caller" system will be used for the remainder of this school year as a test run so the system will be fully functional next year.

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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