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    District Launching Texting for Family Notifications
    Posted on 02/05/2018
    icon of cellphone with text "Subscribe to receive text messages. Message and data rates may apply.

    Subscribe for District Text Messages

    In February, Seattle Public Schools is launching text messaging to help families stay up to date. Our goal is to provide accurate, timely, important information for our community across a variety of platforms. Text messaging will be used in addition to our current communication methods, such as email and voice messages.

    With this new service you can opt-in to receive text messages on a cellular phone number that is on record with your student’s school. You can opt out of this service at any time.

    Because text messaging is a new service for our district, we are launching the feature in phases. The districtwide text messages you can expect as we roll out this new service are:

    • School break and schedule reminders
    • Weather-related or urgent situation schedule changes
    • Major districtwide announcements

    We encourage all parents and guardians to opt-in for this service. To participate in this new service, you must indicate your willingness to receive text messages from Seattle Public Schools to your phone.

    Translated Text Messages

    The district will be able to translate text messages and send them out to families who have told us they prefer messages in a language other than English. The opt-in message, which is automatically generated by SchoolMessenger, is only in English. We are taking additional steps to inform families who speak languages other than English about how to opt-in and use this new service.

    How to Receive Text Messages from Seattle Public Schools

    Steps to Subscribe

    The process is simple, and you can opt-in any of your cell phone numbers that are on record with the district. Your cellular phone listed on the Student Verification Form will be able to subscribe with the instructions below. You can opt out of this service at any time.

    1. Simply text any one of the following words to the number 67587: subscribe, optin, yes.
    2. You will know you were successful if you receive the following reply message, “You’re registered 4 SchoolMessenger notifications. Reply STOP to cancel, HELP for help MSG and data rates may apply. Msg freq varies.”
    3. Optional: Download the SchoolMessenger App to manage your text, voice messages and email preferences. More information can be found on our Communication Preferences webpage.

    You will need to repeat this process for any cellular phone that you wish to include.

    Please be sure the district has updated contact information for your family including cellular phone number(s). The student data verification form is the form families use to update critical student information, including contact information. You can check your contact information with help from SchoolMessenger, the notification system Seattle Public Schools uses to communicate with families. Visit go.schoolmessenger.com to log in or create an account. Please remember, you will need to contact your student's school if you need to update your phone numbers.

    The district will be officially launching the new service in February 2018, so until then you will not receive text messages from Seattle Public Schools.

    Please note, although the district does not charge you for this service, it does not pay for text message charges that may be incurred by you for receiving text messages. Check with your cellular phone provider for possible charges.

    If you have any questions, please email publicaffairs@seattleschools.org or call 206-252-0200.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I currently get emails and phone calls for school announcements, but I’d prefer only emails. If I sign up for texts, I will have three messages. May I choose only one method of communication?

    You may manage your text (in February), voice messages and email preferences with the SchoolMessenger app or website. Important: Families will need to keep at least one number active for emergency announcement phone calls. Here is  more information on how to manage your communication preferences.

    Reminder that in the first phase, only district communications will be available via text. School based announcements will still come through as calls.

    In the future, how do we stop text messages? Will we need to opt out at the end of school year if children leave SPS?

    No action is required for a student that leaves Seattle Public Schools. You will automatically stop receiving text messages. If you would like to opt-out of texts in the future: Text stop to 67587

    Will text messages supplant the notification by telephone robo-calls?

    Text messaging will be used in addition to our current communication methods, such as email and voice messages. (from the district)

    If I can't receive texts, will you continue to generate pre-recorded phone msgs?

    Text messaging will be used in addition to our current communication methods, such as email and voice messages.

    Why has my set up of texting messaging been denied?

    Is the number you are trying to subscribe with in SchoolMessenger (PowerSchool) and connected to your student? If so, some cellphone carriers, such as Sprint or T-Mobile, don’t allow automatic activation of short code messaging (such as texting yes to 67587 to opt-in to district text messages). Please contact your cellphone carrier to make sure short code messaging is activated.

    Does this service cost?

    Although the district does not charge for this texting service, it does not pay for text message charges that may be incurred by you for receiving text messages. Please check with your cellphone provider for possible charges associated with receiving texts.

    How do I update my contact information?

    Please contact your student's school to update your contact information.

    How many texts will I receive each month?

    We plan to average three to four text messages a month. However, this means not all general messages will be shared through text. If you would like to receive all messages, it would be best to keep a phone or email on file.

    You may manage your text, voice messages and email preferences with the SchoolMessenger app or website. Important: Families will need to keep at least one number active for emergency announcement phone calls. Here is more information on how to manage your communication preferences.

    I don't want texts. Will I automatically be signed up?

    Families that don’t opt-in for texting will not automatically be signed up for it.