In an effort to strengthen emergency communications for families, the Mohonasen Central School District is introducing text messaging and automated phone calls through School Messenger.
The School Messenger system will fully replace School News Notifier (SNN) for district and school communications in the coming months.
- In addition to the text messaging and phone calls, the district will continue to send emergency messages via email.
- Most routine communication from the district and from the schools will be emailed.
- The phone calls and text message features will be used only for emergencies and for time-sensitive matters, including weather-related school closures or delays.
On Thursday, Dec. 20, parents and/or guardians will be sent a text message invitation from School Messenger and can opt-in to receive emergency text messages from Mohonasen. An automated phone call will also be sent to parents the day before as a reminder to watch for this opt-in text message.
This opt-in confirmation is required prior to families receiving important text messages from our schools. Be sure to reply if you want to be able to receive future emergency notifications from Mohonasen.
For those who have up-to-date information on file with the district that includes a current cell phone number, the message on Dec. 20 will look like this:
“MCSDinfo Reply Y to confirm, HELP 4 info. Msg&data rates may apply. Msg freq varies. schoolmessenger.com/tm If you would like to receive text messages, please reply “Y” when you receive this message.”
Text messages from our schools will be sent from School Messenger’s “short code” of 67587. Shortcodes are the industry standard, and the fastest, most reliable way deliver mass text notifications.
You must reply with a Y or Yes to opt into the messaging program. If you do not wish to opt in, you can simply ignore the message or reply with “STOP.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t receive a text invitation from School Messenger on December 20?
If you do not receive a text message from School Messenger on December 20, you will need to update your cell phone information. To ensure we can verify this information in our student management system, SchoolTool, please email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Student Name
- Student Grade
- Primary Contact #1
- Home Phone
- Cell Phone
- Primary Contact #2
- Home Phone
- Cell Phone
Please include the area code with your phone number. If cell phone and home phone are the same, please note that.
You may also call 518-356-8222 to update your child’s emergency contact information. Please note that it may take a day or two before this information is updated in SchoolTool. School Messenger syncs with the SchoolTool Parent Portal on a daily basis, so once SchoolTool is updated, it will take less than 24 hours for your number to be updated by School Messenger.
I am pretty sure my contact information on file with the district is correct, but I did not receive a text message from the district on December 20?
If your information in SchoolTool is correct, you may already be able to receive messages from School Messenger. Some families are finding that they may have already opted-in to receive messages from this number while enrolled or employed in another school district, or from another source. The most important thing to know is that if your cell phone information is accurate in SchoolTool, and you have opted-in to receive messages from 67587, you will receive emergency messaging from Mohonasen.
To find out if you are able to receive a text, simply text “Y” or “YES” to 67587. This is the “shortcode” number School Messenger uses to send messages on behalf of the Mohonasen Central School District. You can do this anytime and you should receive a confirmation text from School Messenger in response.
If you receive an error message, you will need to follow the steps outlined in the section above.
How often can I expect to receive text messages?
The district does not intend to use School Messenger frequently for text messages or phone calls. These are most likely to be used when a time-sensitive matter must be brought to the attention of district families. Most routine communication from the system will be sent via email. However, text messages will be sent via this system for snow days, school delays, early dismissals or in the event of an emergency or unforeseen event.
Will I be charged for the text messages that I receive from School Messenger?
School Messenger does not charge recipients for text messages that they receive or send to the shortcode. However, wireless providers may charge for individual text messages, depending on the plan associated with the wireless device. Please consult your carrier if you are uncertain.
What happens if I do not reply to the invitation message or do not reply right away?
You can respond to the invitation message anytime. If you do not reply, you won’t receive any future texts from our schools. If you no longer have the invitation, you can opt in at any point in the future by texting “Y” to 67587.
How do you opt-out of receiving text messages?
You can do this by not responding to the text message invitation. You can also text “STOP” to 67587 at any time or opt out at http://schoolmessenger.com/txtmsg.
Will I still receive email messages from Mohonasen SNN?
Beginning March 1, 2019, SNN will no longer be used by the district. Until that time, some messages sent using School Messenger will also be delivered to SNN recipients and you may receive duplicate emails. After March 1, you will no longer receive SNN messages.
School Messenger will be expanded to provide an opportunity for community members who no longer have children enrolled in school to still receive district and community news, in the same way they have through SNN.
What if I have questions that are not answered above?
There will be follow-up communications the week of Jan. 7, 2019 to ensure all families who want to receive messages through School Messenger are able to. Please watch for those emails. Also, you can email any specific questions to the Communications Department at email@example.com and we will do our best to help you navigate this new tool.