Schools turn to SMS messaging for contacting parents

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Schools turn to SMS messaging for contacting parents

In an “always-on” society, it’s usually pretty easy to get in touch with people when we need them. Everyone it seems has a mobile, and every mobile can receive SMS messages. For schools this means they can reach out to parents easier than ever before. For parents, they know they are available if their child needs them.

While the ability to connect is good, there are circumstances when schools want to reach parents immediately. Calling one or two parents isn’t a problem, but what if every student’s parents needed to be contacted quickly?

An email blast is one possibility. Email is easy to send to massive lists, but there’s no guarantee that the parents will even get the email let alone open it or see it in time.

For example, a school may be forced to close early one day due to a power cut. The school staff can start calling parents, or send out a mass email. They can also send out mass SMS messages to each parent that registered their phone number. Better yet, they can send the email over the Internet and as an SMS message at the same time.

This capability means that schools can guarantee parents get the message that the school will be closing early. They’ve covered all the bases using email and SMS messages. That’s because email is easy to send, but it isn’t always delivered. Also not everyone checks email frequently. For the parents that have mobile numbers registered with the school, they will always get the message in less than ten seconds.

And because 95% of text messages are read within three minutes, the school can be pretty sure the text messages will be delivered and read. This makes text messaging a perfect way to communicate with parents about just about everything, not just emergencies like in our example of the power cut. Here’s a list of some common uses of SMS by schools:

  • Verify attendance with parents
  • Notify parents of school closures
  • Inform parents of any schedule changes for their child, school, or school related event
  • Let parents know of any transport issues that may delay their child’s arrival home or pick up for school
  • Contact parents, staff, or management in case of emergencies
  • Ensure parents know reports were sent home with their child (just in case the reports get “lost” on the way home)

One of the best parts of sending SMS messages is that it’s as easy as using email. With fastsms’s web based service, you can simply log in from any device and send the message. There’s no software to buy, or hardware to maintain. Or if you already use a standard email client, you can send messages directly from your email client with our integrated service. It’s simple to quickly import existing contacts, set up groups, and distribution lists to fit your school.

You can also offer 2 way SMS options to enable students, parents or staff to text back to the school. This could be used for notification of absences but is also used in many schools as a confidential means of reporting bullying or other sensitive information.

Using SMS messages for school related communication will save you time, and you’ll have peace of mind that your messages are delivered to parents in less than 10 seconds. Parents can even reply if you use a virtual mobile number (VMN). It can also be used with supply staff rostering. An last minute requirement for teaching cover can be texted out to potential supply teachers and availability texted back immediately to cover the gap.

Call us today on 0800 954 5305 and our friendly customer service advisers can get your school started with a free account, or answer any questions you may have.

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