Bay District Schools rolls out new alert system

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools is moving away from its current alert system called IRIS.

Bay District Schools will begin using a new alert system soon. (Bay District Schools)

Sharon Michalik, Director of Communications for Bay District Schools, said, "The new system, we're calling it LINK, so it stands for, Link, Inform, Notify, and Know, it's a notification system similar to IRIS."

LINK is powered by Everbridge, the same company Bay Bounty uses for its alert system, AlertBay.

Scott Warner with Bay County Emergency Services, said, "Our administrators, as well as the schools' administrators, will be able to see information and alerts and be able to work together to combine and create one uniform message."

District officials said the new system will be a better way to get notifications out, whether it be through text, email, or call.

"We're really hoping to be able to increase our efficiency, get more messages out in a timely manner and with more accuracy," said Michalik.

They say they expect the transition to be seamless, and parents shouldn't have to do anything if they were already receiving IRIS notifications.

"We have your number, if we had it for IRIS then we have it for LINK. The important thing is that parents go into Parent Portal and make sure that their numbers are updated," said Michalik.

Officials say one of the main reasons the district made the switch was being able to work closely with the county.

"To have the opportunity to piggyback with them in the case of an emergency if we really needed it, really improves our communication for parents," said Michalik.

Bay District Schools will post on its Facebook page when they send out the test notification for LINK. If you don't get the notification after the test run Tuesday or Wednesday, you can log on to Parent Portal to update your phone number and notification settings.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.