Telephoning thousands of parents at the exact same time to give them a personal message might seem unrealistic, but the PACE system (from the Los Angeles-based company with the same name) makes this possible.
PACE, which stands for the Partnership for Academic and Community Excellence, allows school administrators to create and send personalized phone messages about school events, student attendance, school closings, or last-minute announcements to thousands of parents and faculty members instantly and simultaneously.
Using the PACE web site, school officials upload the contact information, including telephone numbers, of the various people who should receive messages. Then, a school administrator or staff member records a message by calling a toll-free number and following the digital operator’s instructions.
Once the message has been recorded, the staff member goes back to the web site to select who will receive the message and when it will be sent out. The messages are saved to the PACE web site automatically, so the same message can be reused over and over again. Administrators can listen to messages through the web site as well.
The PACE system also tracks the delivery of each telephone message and reports the results back to the administrator by eMail. It can detect whether a phone number is no longer in service or if the call was answered by a person or an answering machine.
PACE charges schools based on the number of calls made. The price varies between 20 cents and 40 cents per call, depending on volume.