READFIELD — An error affecting the app used by Regional School Unit 38 to notify families about emergencies caused several parents not to receive an alert about recent events and classes being canceled because of a threat of violence, according to the superintendent.

Thrillshare, an app owned by Arkansas-based company Apptegy, informed school officials Monday its system had been down and a “high number” of notifications failed to send when they were deployed a day earlier, RSU 38 Superintendent Jay Charette said.

Charette was unable to quantify how many families did not receive the initial notice, which was sent Sunday and resulted in cancellations at Maranacook Community Middle and High Schools on Sunday and Monday.

Although school was canceled Monday as a precautionary move, it continued as normally as possible Tuesday, and there is “no concern” among district officials at this time, Charette said.

Events canceled Sunday included the Haunted Halloween Walk, sponsored by the Parent-Teacher Organization, which was rescheduled to Monday. The girls’ soccer team, meanwhile, was able to practice as planned Monday afternoon.

Kim Bowie, part of the PTO group that put on the Haunted Halloween Walk, said she “hopes all schools, educators, administrators, etc., are getting the support and respect they need and deserve.”


Thrillshare enables officials to send out notifications through social media, text messages and voice calls.

RSU 38 officials decided to use the text message option, and learned about an hour after sending the messages Sunday morning that “some people got it and we didn’t know who did (get the messages) and who didn’t.”

“It actually took us about an hour and I was getting messages from people in the district, and some were getting it and some weren’t, so I sent it by email internally,” Charette said, adding the district would take the same step in the future if the app were to go down.

The school district did not hear the company was down until Monday, after Charette took the alternate steps.

Ashley Coleman, director of operations for Apptegy, confirmed Sunday’s outage and said, “It’s something we take very seriously.”

The outage was for “less than an hour,” she said.


Coleman said when the district sends out messages through Thrillshare, the messages go through an aggravator to connect with the cellphone carriers to deliver the messages. The aggravator system is the component that stopped working Sunday.

“It’s very important to us and we are very much on top of it,” Coleman said, adding Apptegy works with more than 2,000 school districts in the United States and outages are “very rare.”

Charette and other RSU 38 officials learned of the threat early Sunday, prompting them to close school for the first time since 2018.

The threat was not made directly to the school, but was sent in a text message thread among a friend group, reportedly reading, “I’m shooting up the school today.”

Officials identified the teenager Monday who reportedly made the threat. The 15-year-old girl from Readfield was issued a summons, according to Lt. Chris Read of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Read declined to release a redacted version of the police incident report to the Kennebec Journal.

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