Table of Contents
Why Do I have to Pay for an All Access Subscription?
In most cases the simple answer is: you do not have to.
For some of you, you may have to accept the hard truth.
The principal benefits of an All Access subscription are:
- The ability to remotely make changes to end of day plans for a student
- Send a prompt message to the student that will appear during dismissal
- Get real time notifications during dismissal of the process
- Receive information alert messages from the school that may necessitate changes in dismissal plans
Before purchasing an All Access subscription check with your school to determine:
What parent interaction features does the school support
Some schools elect to disable certain forms of parent interaction in Silent Dismissal even for those parents who have purchased an All Access pass. Make certain that the features that you desire will be provided by the school before making the purchase. Silent Dismissal does not refund All Access subscriptions.
Has the school purchased All Access licenses already
Some schools have so completely embraced the interaction of parents with the dismissal process that they have purchased All Access subscriptions for parents. If the school has purchased All Access subscriptions it will be necessary for the parent to first download and install the app then create an account. The application will urge the user to purchase an All Access pass, but don't do it. Contact the school and provide them with the e-mail address that you registered your account along with whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone. The school will be able to enable your All Access subscription but it may require signing out of the app then signing back in.
Offer to Sell vs. Compelled to Purchase
If you don't care about getting any of these benefits then you don't have to make a purchase.
When you go into a grocery store and the store has organic vegetables for sale for a higher price than for non-organic vegetables you don't question why the store is telling you to buy the higher priced organic vegetables. They are offering the option to buy them, not forcing you to buy them. For that matter, you may not even like vegetables so you don't want to buy any of either type or variety, but you don't ask the store to take out the produce section because you don't want to be inconvenienced by having to walk through it. It may inconvenience you but you don't expect the store to not serve other customers just because you don't want to buy produce.
If you don't want the Silent Dismissal Parent Connect app then don't install it. If you have already installed it then uninstall it.
Access Should Not Cost Anything
Really? Why not? You can get television signals for free over the air with an antenna but a lot of people still pay for cable or satellite TV. If you don't pay for television you don't expect that you will get to watch ESPN™ even though when you do pay for service you will still have to watch advertisements on many of the channels.
If you go to a movie theater and there are empty seats left over should the movie theater just let people walk in and sit in those seats? It won't cost the theater more money to run the projector if the seats are empty or full. It doesn't cost a stadium more money to let someone sit in empty seats at a ball game or a concert, either, but no one expects them to give those seats away at no charge.
Without All Access
Whether parents have an All Access subscription or not, each school manages to get students where they need to be at the end of the day. In many cases they do this only through a Herculean effort with frantic calls, intercom messages, slips of paper, and other means to accommodate the changing needs of the parents.
Even though this process doesn't have a specific, attributable cost like the purchase of an All Access subscription you can be well assured that there is a cost associated in the form of stress and fatigue on the part of every staff member attempting to do their best every day while knowing that at least one person is going to complain and in most cases no one will appreciate the effort.
Schools and school staff should be allowed to make instructional teaching their chief priority but the dictates of parents are often preventing that. As a society it seems that nearly everyone believes that they are entitled to extra consideration beyond having their children educated and are not willing to shoulder any of the burden. If you are reading this page and thinking that you shouldn't have to pay an annual subscription then you may be one of those people.
The Hard Truth
You may be one of those parents that has unachievable expectations such that the effort of meeting your needs outweighs the level of effort that the staff are willing to undertake and may have deleterious effects on the operation of the school as a whole and which may be adversely affecting their ability to educate students other than your own.
If you are a parent who
- routinely requires changes to the end of day process for your child or children,
- who constantly badgers staff regarding the location of the children during dismissal, or
- regularly contacts the front office to request that staff communicate a message to your children
then do not be surprised when you are informed that in order to get satisfaction you must invest in the purchase of an All Access subscription.
Whether or not you elect to make the purchase still ultimately resides with you, but do not expect to be the person who gets let into the movie theater without buying a ticket.