Alert system helps Frederick County parents stay informed

WASHINGTON – Getting secondhand information about significant events at a child’s school is nerve-wracking for parents, faculty for Frederick County Public Schools say.

So they’ve done something about it.

The “FindOutFirst” system is used in Frederick County Public Schools as both a targeted email service and an alert system to keep parents informed.

At Urbana Middle School — which has used the service since 2006 — FindOutFirst was utilized recently to inform parents of a possible drug-related incident, after students reported to guidance counselors that they smelled marijuana in a locker room.

It was a first for the school, which had never dealt with drugs on campus before. The incident was investigated and action was taken internally. But to prevent panic from parents over any misinformation, school principal Gwendolyn Dorsey informed them of what happened by using the system.

Urbana Middle School also sends its weekly newsletter and other announcements via the service.

In order to take part, parents have to register for “FindOutFirst” on a school system website. There, they can enter up to two email addresses and a phone number to receive the emails and text messages.

WTOP’s David Burd contributed to this report. Follow David and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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