Teachers: Send Text Messages with SchoolMessenger

Prior to text messaging with parents

We all know that good school-home communication is an important factor in student achievement. We are pleased to announce that teachers may now send text messages to parents and guardians using SchoolMessenger, the MMSD parent notification system.

The benefit of using the district-supported texting service, is that it is already linked with the student data in Infinite Campus (IC). Many parents regularly receive texts from their schools and the district via SchoolMessenger. Many teachers are already using the email function of SchoolMessenger. As text messaging becomes the preferred method of communication, teachers will now have greater opportunities to connect with families.

With parent permission, teachers at the middle and high school level may also send text messages to students according to the MMSD guidelines for social media and digital communication 

 

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Google Voice: An option for interactive text messaging

SchoolMessenger is great for getting a text message to many people at one time. However, since there is no way to reply to SchoolMessenger text messages, you may need to consider another option for one-to-one text interaction. Don’t give out your private cell phone number. Instead, you can send a text message to parents from your gmail account, and route calls to and from your personal phone by signing up for a Google Voice phone number through MMSD’s Google Apps for Education account. Get started in 4 easy steps, then check out these additional resources:

1. Import contacts »

2. Read transcriptions of voicemails. Watch a video »

3. Customize which phones ring. Watch a video »

4. Personalize greetings for different callers. Watch a video »

5. Make cheap international calls. Watch a video »

6. Forward SMS to email. Watch a video »

7. Share voicemails with friends. Watch a video »

8. Block unwanted callers. Watch a video »

9. Screen callers before answering. Watch a video »

10. Access the mobile app on your phone. Watch a video »

11. Conference call with co-workers. Watch a video » 

Great communication takes practice. It’s not just a matter of common sense. To make the most of your communications, we encourage all staff to review the best practices described in the online toolkit provided by the Communication Department. Here you can find a “getting started” tutorial for SchoolMessenger text messaging. Some face-to-face training opportunities are also available. Email Taryn Soza in Communications for more information.

 

Learn more about the district’s efforts to support two-way communication among schools, families and the community in this report.