DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado’s largest school district is changing how they notify parents in emergency situations, everything from security threats to weather delays and cancellations. Denver Public Schools families raised concerns about delayed alerts during last month’s snowstorm that forced an early release of students.

Denver Public Schools Notifications School Messenger

(credit: CBS)

“I think they’ve shouldn’t have even sent them today,” one parent told CBS4 at the time.

The weather in Colorado can bring its own set of obstacles for school districts, but DPS officials acknowledge their notifications were not reaching all parents quickly enough.

Denver Public Schools Notifications School Messenger

(credit: CBS)

DPS Deputy Superintendent Mark Ferrandino said that issue was brought to light last April, when an FBI manhunt for Sol Paiz, 18, forced the closure of nearly every school on the Front Range.

Mark Ferrandino Denver Public Schools Notifications School Messenger

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Mark Ferrandino (credit: CBS)

“One of our first communications that went out, it took some families four to five hours from when we sent it to receive that message, that’s not acceptable,” he said.

RELATED: Denver Public Schools Announces New Weather Delay Policy

During that event the district needed to notify more than 90,000 families at once, but the old system would send them out one right after another.

Denver Public Schools Notifications School Messenger

(credit: CBS)

“This new messenger doesn’t do that, that’s why it’s 911 capable or certified, it is able to get out very quickly to as many people as we need,” Ferrandino said.

Mark Ferrandino Denver Public Schools Notifications School Messenger

Mark Ferrandino (credit: CBS)

DPS says their goal has always been to get information to parents within five minutes of an event or change to schedule, and the switch to the new system will help ensure that is the case.

Denver Public Schools Notifications School Messenger

(credit: CBS)

“We know when we have to get those messages out they will get out in a timely manner, where people will be able to react to it quickly,” he said.

Karen Morfitt

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