SchoolMessenger Usage Update
In order to respect the privacy of members of our community, we are making the following changes regarding our use of the SchoolMessenger system for automated phone, email and text communication:
- All phone communications will begin with the introductory message, "If you have received this message in error, please contact Alpena Public Schools at 989-358-5200 or press 5 now to request that your number be removed."
- We will process requests for removal on a daily basis each work day.
- Requests for removal can be made to any school building, to the main switchboard (989-358-5200), or by using the "press 5" function at the start of any call.
- Families can manage their own contact information by removing or adding information using Synergy ParentVUE, which is linked at www.alpenaschools.com (login here)
- Families can use the free SchoolMessenger Info Center app for iOS or Android to control their own contact preferences or review missed messages. There is also a web portal (linked here) where they can do the same. You must have an email address with your Synergy account to use the mobile app or web portal.
Our goal is to make it easier for people to opt out if they don't wish to receive communications from their child's school or if the phone number has changed hands. Please be aware that opting out will stop all automated calls to that number.
School Closings - Be Informed!
Alpena Public Schools is the largest geographic district in Michigan's lower peninsula, covering well over 600 square miles. All together, our buses drive a combined distance greater than a round trip to Orlando, Florida and back every day! As you can imagine, road conditions are a big concern and can differ remarkably from one corner of the district to another.
School closing decisions are always made based on the best information we can gather at the time and with student safety as the first priority. When school is closed, we make every effort to let everybody know as early as possible to minimize the disruption and confusion for families.
How are "snow day" decisions made? When are those decisions made? How do we communicate the decision? What can families do to be prepared? Answers to all these questions (and more) can be found by visiting our School Closure Information page.
OK2SAY Coming to AHS
The Michigan Attorney General’s office will be conducting presentations on student safety featuring the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) and the student safety hotline, OK2SAY. The presentation will be given for our students at Alpena High School, grades 9-12, on Friday, November 20, 2015.
The high school presentation focuses on OK2SAY and teaches students how it works, what can be reported and how, and what, will happen with the tip submitted by the students through a video done compliments of Lifetouch National School Studios. Students get in-depth explanations of bullying, cyberbullying, suicide, sexting, threats, dating violence, sexual abuse, and hazing. They will watch a video featuring Michigan teens that have died by suicide, they’ll watch a video showing the impacts of sexting, and they’ll see videos featuring Michigan State University Women’s Basketball coach, Suzy Merchant.
Handouts used during our presentations, and additional information, can be accessed at the Attorney General's website, www.mi.gov/csi. More information on OK2SAY, as well as resources, is available at www.mi.gov/ok2say.
If you do NOT want your child to participate, follow this link to download an opt out letter. Return the bottom portion of the letter to the main office at the high school by Thursday, November 19, 2015.
Holiday Cheer, APS Style!
Our schools' annual holiday performances are sure to put a smile on your face! Don't miss a chance to see our students as they showcase their talents. Mark your calendar for a dose (or maybe several doses) of winter holiday cheer:
- Tuesday, December 8 - Besser Music Program
- Thursday, December 10 - Wilson Music Program
- Thursday, December 10 - TBJH Band Concert
- Friday, December 11 - Lincoln Music Program
- Monday, December 14 - Ella White Music Program
- Wednesday, December 16 - Hinks Music Program
- Thursday, December 17 - Sanborn Music Program
- Thursday, December 17 - TBJH/AHS Choir Concert
For exact times and other details, visit our calendar or contact your school. This is also the season of holiday dinners, many of which are open to the public. Contact your school to find out about participation.
Protect MI Child
Are your children safe while online? Michigan families, especially minors, are becoming inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through different internet and cell phone inboxes. Texting their advertisements is the newest marketing effort that many of these companies are using. Thankfully, the State of Michigan offers a free program to stop adult advertisements from reaching e-mails, mobile phones (text messaging ads) and instant messenger IDs. The Michigan Child Protection Registry, like the federal Do Not Call List, is a free do-not-contact service for Michigan’s families and schools and can be located at www.ProtectMIChild.com.
APS encourages parents to sign their entire family up for the registry and inform your friends and colleagues about how they can protect children and families from unwanted adult advertising. To sign up only takes seconds. Just go to www.ProtectMIChild.com and keep your family safe.
Learn more by visiting the registry website. You can also view this helpful FAQ document.