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New! AlertNow message replay and voice mail troubleshooting

A new feature available to recipients of AlertNow messages provides an online replay and review of voice or e-mail messages received during the past 15 days.

Go to www.alertnowmessage.com and enter your 10-digit phone number or your e-mail address in the boxes provided; click "Search." A page will display showing all the recent messages.

For e-mails, click on "View this Email Message," and a pop-up will appear displaying the content of the message. For voice messages, click "Listen to this Audio/Phone Message," and a pop-up will appear allowing you to open the audio file with your computer's media player. You must have speakers connected to your computer to hear the audio messages. If you do not hear anything, check to make sure your volume is turned up and your computer is not muted. 

1. The message started playing and then stopped. Why?
AlertNow 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.

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 stop playing, wait for silence (usually after the beep), and then start the message over so that it can be recorded in its entirety.

While the software is 98% accurate in distinguishing live vs. machine, errors can occur if the person repeatedly says "hello" or answers in a noisy environment (i.e. traffic, children playing, loud music or television, dog barking, etc.).

Generally in these situations, the system stops playing the message. It is waiting for silence to start the message over. In a noisy environment, where silence is unattainable, call recipients can press the number 1 on their telephone and the message will play from the beginning without interruption.

2. Why is my answering machine recording only half of the message?
If the answering machine greeting is sporadic with various periods of silence or does not start playing within 3 seconds, the system may read this as a live person and begin playing the message before the machine has started recording. This will result in a recording of silence (if the AlertNow message finishes playing before the machine begins recording) or of just the last portion of the AlertNow message.

Parents can simply re-record their outgoing message so that there are no pauses. Alternately, if the answering machine is set to record for a specific amount of time (e.g., 30 seconds) and the AlertNow message runs longer than that, this will also result in message cut-off. The recommended solution is to have parents set their machines to record for a longer period.

For answering machines or voicemail systems where it is necessary to enter a mailbox number, AlertNow is unable to leave a message.

3. My caller ID showed that the school had called, but there was no voicemail. Why?
The system will ring a line up to 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. Another possibility is that there is a break or a substantial silence in your machine's outgoing message, causing the AlertNow message to play prior to the machine actually recording. Please make sure that the greeting is seamless to facilitate successful message delivery.

Questions? Send an e-mail to alertnow@pkwy.k12.mo.us or call (314) 415-8500 and leave a message.