Teacher's Assistant by VoiceGate

Elementary School/ Mid School/ High School Automated Absenteeism / Homework Notification -
Voice Recording, Auto Dialing Safe School Modules

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Teacher's Assistant Services

Data Base
Homework Notification
School Activity Announcement
Security Gateway
Safe School - Call Recorder
Safe School - Instant Wireless Messaging
Network Surveillance
Substitute Teacher Notification Module (STNM)
Voicemail Automated Attendant


Data Base Module: ***
The data base module is used for two purposes:
1. Initial creation and setup of the schools dialing community:

Streamlining communications starts with importing the school’s database of students and teacher’s names (users), phone numbers and e-mail addresses to facilitate fast and easy creation of the school’s dialing community within the Teacher’s Assistant.

Once this information is resident on the Teacher’s Assistant, the system administrator (typically the Principal, Vice-Principal or a designate) will create a mailbox for each user, dialing rules around each number (household), and define classroom (class) group and global calling lists to be notified when a message is sent to a particular dialing group.

These calling lists allow each teacher to record any homework message, once, using any on or off site phone. Then, by pressing a few buttons on any touch-tone phone, the teacher can send a voice message to each user (student, parent or teacher) in that calling group list. For example: If math class period 1 has 32 students, record one message and send the homework assignment to each student on that list.

2. Absenteeism updates:
When used with the Absenteeism notification module, daily absenteeism notifications to parents or guardians are made as simple as uploading the daily absenteeism database file, and launching an absenteeism calling campaign to all households or numbers associated with each student on that absenteeism database for that particular day. Messages can be recorded, (VOX) typed (text to speech<TTS>) and delivered to e-mail (WAV file format), pager (text), answering machine (VOX), or live (VOX/TTS). Detailed system reports inform administrators which households the system was unable to deliver notification requiring further action.

*** Used only in conjunction with one or more other Teacher’s Assistant Modules.

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Homework Notification Module:
Flexible Dialing Rules:
Each teacher has 10 class lists with up to 50 students on each list. Teachers can record daily or weekly homework assignments using their touch-tone phone and instruct the Assistant to immediately deliver the assignment to each household on that particular class calling group list while respecting the dialing rules set up for each household on each list.

Bi-directional Communication:
Each teacher’s class is assigned its own homework calling list; however, improved communication between the teacher and parents can also be accomplished by sending individual messages to households concerning an individual student regarding issues, concerns and conduct. Parents have the ability to automatically respond to a message sent to them by a teacher: keeping both parties in touch when busy schedules may not otherwise permit.

Multi-Modal Message Delivery:
When the Teacher’s Assistant attempts to deliver a message by phone, some students may “intercept” and not deliver the message sent by the educator to the parent, thinking the attempted communication between the Teacher and parent would be severed - not with the Teacher’s Assistant. The reason for this is it has the ability to automatically convert a copy of the voice message “intercepted” by the student to a Wav file format and send it to an e-mail account as an attachment. Sending the same message twice to two different delivery mediums, one secure, one not, decreases the probability of Parental-Teacher communication failure due to “intercepted” or non-delivered messages.

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Absenteeism Module:
This easy to use module is designed to alert parents or guardians that a child in their household has been absent from class or classes on any given day.

System Administrators can launch absenteeism notification campaigns with a few clicks of their mouse from the Administrative terminal; or, remotely via a networked or a dial up connection.

Password protected, interfacing with the Teacher’s Assistant is secure and easy to do. Simply type in the message to be delivered to the household (TTS) or record a message using the school’s phone (VOX). Import the list of absent student(s) the notification concerns and launch the dialing campaign. The system then will call each number, always respecting the dialing rules defined for that household: (“don’t call after 10:00pm” and deliver the message). The message can also be sent to an e-mail account, cell phone, PDA or pager.

Detailed Reporting:
If the message is undeliverable, the system will create a log detailing the number of delivery attempts that were made. If successful, the system will detail to which medium (s) the message was delivered, and on which attempt. This gives Administrators proof of how successful the communication between the Absenteeism module and parents really has been.

Database Integration:
When a positive connection is made, the system plays a TTS message “This is the Teacher’s Assistant calling please hold. (students name) in your household attending (school name) in grade (grade number) was absent (date) in period (period numbers). Please call the school or send a written note to explain the absence”.

Failure Alerts:
If the system fails to deliver an absenteeism notification, it can automatically send an alert to up to five administrative e-mail accounts for follow-up or further action.

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School Activity Announcement Module:
In some cases Administrators may wish to send messages to a combination of users, or simply to all users on the system (entire dialing community).

The School Activity Announcement module allows the quick creation of dialing campaigns comprising all, specific groups, or even individual users on the system. Highlighting a global user list of all users can create global calling lists. Subset groups are created by highlighting individuals from the global user list (You can save these custom lists for future notifications ie: chess club).

The School Activity Announcement module is great for disseminating information to all or part of the school dialing community regarding closures, emergencies, events, news and updates.

School Activity Announcement calling campaigns are arranged and launched by the system administrator and are generally “global” in nature. Conversely the homework module is designed and used to notify specific and smaller groups within the dialing community and are generally sent from the teacher to the student group (i.e.: math period 1).

Easy To Use:
The Activity module has been designed specifically to create, improve or re-establish, bi-directional communication between the different and diverse groups that make up the school community. It is also very useful for recording and delivering announcements, notices and updates to any calling group on the system. Lists of different calling groups can be easily created and saved for future use.

Other Calling groups could be as follows:

- Administrative or lead teacher’s groups
- Bus, lunch or playground, monitoring group
- Clubs
- Crossing guard groups
- Custodial body
- Divisional groups
- EQUAO groups
- Field trip groups
- Fundraiser activities
- Health groups

- Parents
- Performance groups
- School bus groups
- School closure
- School council
- Sports teams
- Students
- Teaching body
- Volunteer groups

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Security Gateway Module: *
Violence within schools has and continues to be a real concern for all parties connected with the educational community. Security Gateway assists Administrators in dealing with, managing and catching callers issuing threats, being abusive, or just being a general nuisance.

Combined with ICS’s call accounting module, the Security Gateway allows administrators to “flag” all inbound telephone numbers (calls) into the automated attendant they wish to have routed to staff specifically trained to cope with threatening or nuisance calls. Administrators can define unique numbers, calls with no number or ID blocked numbers, they wish to “trap” in the security gateway.

How It Works:
  1. The Administrator programs the system to flag, seize and route all calls with Caller ID blocked to extension 320 (for example)
  2. Extension 320 doesn’t have a mailbox associated with it and therefore must be answered live by a staff member trained to deal with mischief, prank, or threatening calls.
  3. If an outside party calls the school’s automated attendant with call block enabled, the system immediately seizes that call and sends it to extension 320. The person at Extension 320 answers the call and deals with it accordingly. Students that are made aware the Security Gateway is enabled will be less likely to engage in nuisance activity.

This feature is designed to eliminate the possibility of prank, abusive, or threatening messages being delivered anonymously to persons or mailboxes within the school community.

Attempted delivery of prank or threatening messages can now be answered and managed by a person trained and instructed on how to deal specifically with those types of calls (the person at extension 320 for example).

In the event a call is made without Caller ID Block and an anonymous message is delivered that administrators would like to investigate, catching the perpetrator is easy. With a few clicks on the desktop, Administrators can search for all calls and associated caller ID numbers into a certain extension by day, time, and month, delivering every Caller ID captured that satisfies the searched criteria.

The Security Gateway, just by presence alone, proves to be a powerful deterrent to annoying, abusive, prank and mischief calls. Administrators could use the school Activity Announcement module to pre-announce the activation of the Security Gateway, how it works and which numbers (or lack of) will be routed to administration. In some cases, routine calls (cell phones with Caller ID blocked) may fall inadvertently into the Gateway. Parents and students should be made aware that should they end up in the Security Gateway, it is to foster a safe school and their call will simply be processed by a live attendant (extension 320).

With the Security Gateway managing the front end of the school’s automated attendant, routing calls that could disrupt the school’s smooth day-to-day operations to the proper authority, makes for a safer, undisrupted learning environment.
*In development


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TIPS Module: *
A dedicated number (line) into the system, published and advertised as a Tip Line is an important component of the Safe School Module. This number will not have Caller ID enabled and therefore callers will have the ability to leave anonymous messages detailing events or information critical to the school’s safety, student conflicts, or its continued smooth operation. Tips Lines are a proven way to deter or solve crimes and crisis within our society. The Tips component of the Safe School Module is one more way the Teacher’s Assistant improves communication between every element of the school community. When a message is left on the Tips Line it is automatically copied to up to 5 mailboxes on the system and can be attached as a Wav File attachment and immediately sent as an e-mail to up to 5 additional recipients remotely or within the school. With TIPS, authorities and administration officials are notified immediately, allowing for quick action and response to information given by anonymous callers.
*In development

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Safe School – Call Recorder Module:*
Administrators and Teachers need to be sure they are protected and capable of defending and supporting themselves when conflict erupts as a result of a telephone conversation with parents, students, custodial staff, suppliers, substitute teachers, and even union representatives.

With options to record all conversations originating in or outside of the school; or, just “on demand”, teachers and administrators will be able to review and disseminate recorded conversations (for transcription and archival purposes), giving * record of exactly what was said, how it was said, and the intent in which it was said.

Safe School Call Recorder can back up and archive conversations to DVDR or automatically send them as a Wav file attachment to any e-mail account for fast review and action should it be necessary.

Once the school community is aware there is the ability to record conversations, incidences of telephone abuse, threats and misquoted or misrepresented conversations will reduce dramatically. Streamlining communications and reducing wasted time sorting out “he said – she said” arguments - getting right down to sorting out the real issue at hand, rather than it getting “lost in the translation” is what the safe school Call Recorder delivers in an easy to use affordable, package.
*Stand-alone system.

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Safe School – Instant Wireless Messaging Module:
When a crisis or emergency occurs on-site Administrators need to be notified fast.

Streamlining communications between the office and Administrators is what Teacher’s Assistant’s instant messaging module is all about.

Equipped with an on-site transmitter (no recurring or on-going paging charges) and each teacher or administrator carrying an inexpensive text, pager, office staff can instantly communicate with any pager on the school premises by simply typing a message on their desktop.

Fast, silent pages ensure secure discrete communication between the office, administration and teaching body.

Messages may be as simple as: “John Smith’s Mom just phoned - he will be absent today”.

A message to custodial staff: “can you clean up the broken glass in room 6”or when it really matters: “Ms. Jones, we need you back in the office right now!!”

The Instant Wireless Messaging Module has been specifically designed to eliminate the need for costly communication equipment in every classroom: eliminate the need for uninformative obtrusive overhead pages and to provide detailed omni – directional communication from the office to anywhere on the school property.


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LAN LORD (Internet Surveillance Utility) Module:
The LAN LORD is a covert desktop surveillance system that allows educators and administrators to screen capture any image, on any monitor, sitting on the school’s network.

Great for computer teachers who now can monitor, capture, and log student’s Internet activities from any desktop on the network! Educators can use this utility to coach students regarding their on-going computer work; or, to identify and restrict inappropriate use of the school’s computer facilities.

It gets better!

The teacher or administrators can, at any given moment see what the student can see on their screen without leaving their desk. If inappropriate content is evident, an audible warning can be “instant messaged” from the teacher’s station to the student’s desktop telling them to restrict or cease their current activities.


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Substitute Teacher Notification Module (STNM): *
The STNM is designed to automatically locate and book substitute teachers when a staff member takes a day away from work.

How It Works:

  1. Each staff member has a user identification number and pass code to access the system.
  2. If they wish to book time off, they call the system, enter the STNM extension number, pass code and user ID number.
  3. Having successfully passed security, the system will prompt them to enter the day(s) (or part of) they are booking off (days off can be booked up to one week in advance).
  4. If they are booking a part day, the system will get them to enter the time they will be leaving the school on that day.
  5. The system will have a pool of substitute teachers it can call to book as replacements.
  6. The system starts calling at the top of the list of available substitutes and doesn’t stop until it reaches and books a substitute teacher to fill in for the staff member when absent.
  7. When the system reaches a number, it will play “ This is xxx School’s Substitute Teacher Booking System calling, we have a call for (substitute Teachers name). If we have connected with (substitute teacher xxx) please press1 now, if not and (substitute teacher) is available to come to the phone press 2. (We will wait up to one minute while (xxx) comes to the phone. If longer than 1 minute, we will disconnect. While waiting up to one minute we will play “this is the STNM holding for (name) press 1 to continue”. Finally, if they are unavailable, press 3.
  8. If the substitute is able to come to the phone and presses 1, we prompt for the user ID and pass code and then play the job posting. When finished playing the posting, STNM will play “press 1 to accept this posting, 2 to repeat, or 3 to decline”.
  9. If “1” it will confirm the school, date, time and teacher’s name for whom they are substituting.
  10. The system then sends an e-mail and voice mail confirmation to up to 5 accounts and mailboxes notifying administrators of the teacher booking time off, when and the substitute’s name and time they accepted the assignment.
  11. If no substitute can be found, a message will be sent to the 5 e-mail and voice mail boxes detailing teacher’s name, when, where and that no substitute could be located willing to accept this posting.
  12. Once a substitute is booked, the system takes that substitute out of the pool for the time just booked. When the system attempts to locate the next substitute, it starts from the last name it dialed of the available pool of substitute teaches. This ensures all substitute teachers on the system get an even chance of booking teaching assignments.

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