School district going paperless

By ROBERT LINNEHAN

The entire Voorhees School District will soon be trending toward a paperless notification system this school year. The district and several PFA groups are asking families to sign up for the service to receive notifications and school mailings by e-mail in an attempt to reduce expenses.

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Coordinator of Elementary Programs Irene Afek said this venture will save the district thousands of dollars in printing and mailing costs. The goal, she said, is to initiate this venture by the second marking period — Nov. 16 — and send out the majority of district information directly to e-mail boxes throughout the township.

The budget for mailing, printing and paper costs is hard to identify, Afek said, because all employees have access to the printing and copying machines. After the 2010–2011 school year, the district will have an idea of how much money was saved, but until then it’s almost impossible to know.

“We don’t know how much we’ll be saving. We can anticipate saving on costs for printing, paper and more importantly mailing. We hope for next year we can send out the bus schedules and class assignments as well. That’s what we’re hoping for,” she said. “We’re looking at every area that we can to use electronic e-mail and/or the Web site. We want people to get used to getting their information through e-mails and our Web sites. We’d appreciate getting comments and feedback from the community. This is a new venture for us and it’s new for everyone.”

An archive on the district’s Web site will also be created that will contain all of the e-mailed notices and informational flyers, Afek said. If a parent misses one of the notifications, he or she can visit the archive and easily find what they’re looking for, she said.

About 70 percent of families in the district have already signed up for the electronic service, Afek said. This week at the back to school events, parents will be asked to sign up for the service if they have not already done so.

Several parental groups in the school district are following suit as well. The E.T. Hamilton PFA has set a date of Oct. 1 to begin sending out all information through e-mail, PFA Secretary Darlene Baldasarre said.

Families who have yet to sign up can send an email to the PFA’s address at ethpfa@gmail.com with their child’s name, grade and e-mail address they would like to have the information sent.

“The amount of paper that we will save will be incredible. Usually what we do is we send a flyer out once a week about what’s happening and what’s going on,” she said. “Between paper, ink and the time that will be saved, it will be great. We’ll be saving thousands of dollars from year end.”

For more information visit the school district’s Web site at Voorhees.k12.nj.us.

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