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Notification System

Connect 5 Notification System

Newton Public Schools uses the Blackboard Connect 5 Notification Service (formerly AlertNow) to relay important messages to parents and school district staff. Messages are initiated by the Superintendent of Schools, the Communications department or your school Principal and include general school announcements, delayed openings, early dismissals, school closings and emergencies.

The phone numbers and email addresses used by the Connect 5 system to contact parents are those provided during enrollment. Please notify your child's school if your contact information changes for any reason.

Receiving Phone Messages

  • Caller ID will display 411 when the message is urgent (i.e. School Closing) or an emergency.
  • The service will leave a message on any answering machine or voicemail.
  • If the message stops playing, press any key 1-9 and the message will replay from the beginning.

Replay a Message

The Blackboard Connect replay number is a dial-in number that allows recipients to listen to past messages that have been sent. 

1-855-4-REPLAY (1-855-473-7529)

When you call the Replay number, the system will play a welcome message and automatically detect the number you're calling from.  
Press # to confirm the number is correct.
If you are subscribed to multiple institutions (a high school and an elementary school in the same district, for example) the system will list the institutions with a corresponding number.  Use your phone to select an option.  
Once you've selected an institution, the system will list out the most recent messages sent to that phone.  

Use the keypad on your phone to select which message to replay.
When you're done, simply hang up.

NOTE:  The Replay number will only replay phone messages and will not repeat messages sent as SMS or email.  
The Replay number will not work with phones that have caller ID blocked.

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: How were my numbers and email addressed assigned to the system?
ANSWER: Your information was pulled from Infinite Campus, our student information system.  If you did not receive a call, and you know of another parent from your school that did, notify your child's school of your updated information. 

QUESTION: I would rather not receive calls from Blackboard Connect - can I opt out?
ANSWER: Yes.  However, once your number is put on the do not call list you will not receive alerts regarding attendance, school closings, emergency situations at your student school or any other notifications that are sent out through the system. Contact your child's school to have your number removed permanently from the Blackboard Connect system.

QUESTION: I would rather have my cell phone listed as my primary contact number, is this possible?
ANSWER: Yes.  Contact your child's school with the number you would like as your primary contact number.

QUESTION: I received the call but I missed the information. What should I do?
ANSWER: While you are still on the call, you can replay the message by pressing star (*) on your phone at any time.

QUESTION: My phone is equipped with the telemarketer blocking option.  In order to reach me or leave a message you must dial 1 if you are not a telemarketer.  Will the messages go through on my phone?
ANSWER: No.  If your home phone is setup to have a number dialed in order to reach a person or answering machine, you will not receive a message.  You may contact your child's school to have your cell phone made your primary phone or for email receipt only.

QUESTION: My work/home phone needs an extension dialed in order to reach me.  Will the system get through to me?
ANSWER: No.  The system is unable to dial extensions.  If your home phone has an extension option you will need to contact your child's school with an alternate contact option.  Your work phone will not be called by the system if you have an extension listed in our student information system for it.

QUESTION: I received the call but my answering machine cut it off. Why?
ANSWER: The system attempts to detect whether it is a live person or and answering machine that has picked up the call. In rare instances, such as when an answering machine message contains a period of silence, the system will detect an answering machine as a live person and start to deliver the message prior to the beep. Sometimes, a message is cut off by an answering machine simply because its duration is longer than the machine allows for a single message. Generally an answering machine will cut off a message after one minute.

QUESTION: I received the call on my cell phone but it kept looping/repeating. Why?
ANSWER: The system does its best to detect whether there is a live person or an answering machine picking up the call. Sometimes when there is ambient noise, the system inappropriately detects a live person as an answering machine. When this happens, it continues to wait for the answering machine’s beep followed by a brief moment of silence before starting to play the message from the beginning. The parent can prevent the message from looping by minimizing background noise or pressing mute on the phone.

QUESTION:  Will there be other attempts to reach me if I am unable to pick up the call?
ANSWER: Yes, the system will make a total of three attempts to reach you or your answering machine. If it is unable to reach you within two hours it will stop calling and list the reason the message was undeliverable.