Northern Lights Public Schools is pleased to announce that it now has a communication tool for parents that is consistent from classroom to classroom and school to school.
School Messenger will allow all Northern Lights schools to send messages to parents and/or students by using the contact information they provided to the school when they registered.
This will include automated attendance messages when students aren’t at school and their absence hasn’t already been reported by a parent or guardian. It will also include general messages from the school and division such as school newsletters and invitations to upcoming events.
School Messenger allows the division, schools or individual teachers to send messages to parents in a variety of ways, including voice messages to phones, text messages, and emails.
There is also a School Messenger app that will allow teachers to communicate directly with parents/guardians and/or students, individually or in groups. The app will also allow parents or students to indicate which ways they would like to be contacted (email, voice, text), in which circumstances (general messages, attendance, and emergencies).
Through the app, parents will also be able to see all of the messages that have been shared for each of their children. So parents with multiple children, who may be attending different schools, can see all of the messages they have received by simply checking the School Messenger app.
The app also allows users to turn on push notifications in the settings, so they will know immediately when they have received a message.
Northern Lights has already started training staff on how to use School Messenger for attendance and sending school messages. We hope to complete that training and have School Messenger in use at every school by the end of September.
Once School Messenger is in place at the school level, our focus will shift to providing teachers with the training and resources they need to effectively use the classroom communication tools that are available to them through School Messenger. This may take some time and we thank everyone in advance for their patience and co-operation while we work through this process.
What do parents need to do?
There are three things parents can do to help us implement School Messenger more efficiently and effectively:
Ensure your contact information is up-to-date at your child’s school. You will need to have an email address on file to receive messages via email or through the app, and a cell phone number on file for text messages.
In order to receive text messages, School Messenger requires you to opt in. If you have provided your school with a cell phone number, you will receive a message from School Messenger (it will appear as a short code - a five digit number - on your phone). The message will ask you to text “Y” if you wish to receive text messages from your child’s school. We will be enabling text messaging soon, so if your number is on file, you should receive a message within the next couple of weeks.
Download the School Messenger app and create an account. Make sure you use the same email address as the one that you provided to your child’s school. The app will allow you to set your contact preferences.