It’s easy to forget how complicated modern communications are -- every phone call you place is routed through dozens of servers, as many different companies, and all using technology that is best described as magic. Fortunately all of the complexity is hidden away from us really well and it works perfectly the vast majority of the time. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t work that way.
Calling via SchoolStatus can fail for at least as many reasons as a regular call, but there are a few easy things to check whenever you’ve had a call fail.
The number one problem encountered when calling via SchoolStatus is an invalid phone number. Usually this is due to a typo when the phone number was put into the SIS (Student Information System) -- for example, 601-860-81444 will result in a failing call. In this case, the solution is to update the contact information in your SIS. Those changes will be picked up by SchoolStatus during the scheduled data syncs and then the contact can be called again.
It’s also possible that the number is in a format that SchoolStatus is unable to parse correctly. When you look at the Contacts tab on the Student Card, the phone numbers for each contact are exactly what have been pulled from your SIS. Typically we’re able to parse something like “(Cell) 601-860-8144” into the correct number, but if the contact’s number is something very unusual then it’s possible it’s not being parsed correctly. If you think that this is the case, it’s better to fix the issue in the SIS if possible. If it isn’t possible then you should contact SchoolStatus support and let us know which contact is the issue.
Lack of Reception or WiFi
Just like a regular calls via your cell phone, it’s possible that the call is attempting to connect to a phone that doesn’t have enough reception to sustain a clear connection. This usually takes the form of a call with poor quality, but in some circumstances it can result in the call failing completely. The same is true when your wireless Internet connection is weak.
You can typically identify this issue when several consecutive calls fail, especially if you have successfully used the calling feature in the past. We recommend letting some time pass, and trying your call again.
Most districts have a “security system” that blocks certain Internet traffic. Sometimes traffic vital to calling via SchoolStatus is erroneously blocked, causing your calls to fail. This is typically very easy to diagnose -- if you’re able to use the calling feature when you aren’t at school but are unable to when you are at school, then this is very likely the issue. Another indication that something foul may be afoot with the firewall is when a large portion of people, such as an entire school or campus, are unable to call while others within the same district, but at a different physical location (which in this case may mean a completely different network), are able to call. In this instance, you’ll want to talk to the IT staff at your school or district and have them reference our System Requirements.
Unverified Mobile Number on Web
We offer two methods of making calls: using a WiFi connection or a cell-to-cell connection. When you place a call from the Web, you’re using your computer’s internet (usually WiFi) to facilitate the call. You won’t need to verify your mobile number for this method.
Cell-to-cell calls happen when you select ‘Call Using My Cell Phone’ from the Web interface. In this instance, your cell phone will ring, and once answered will then begin to connect with the person you’re calling, with a middleman number in between (that’s how we keep your number private). But, in order to make a call in this way, you must first tell us your mobile number! Here are the steps to verify your number. If you attempt to make a cell call without verifying your mobile number in the SchoolStatus settings, the call will fail.
Unverified Mobile Number on Mobile
Using SchoolStatus Mobile, you can facilitate the call in the same two ways, using WiFi or using the cell-to-cell technology. If you have selected the setting 'Use Data for Calling' you’ll be using WiFi to place the call, so it’s not necessary to verify your mobile number since you’re actually making a data call. If you have unselected that setting, you’ll be placing a cell-to-cell call and you WILL need to verify your mobile number in the Settings menu on the SchoolStatus Web platform.
Your Computer's Configuration
There are a few issues with your computer that can cause calling to not work properly. Typically these should give you an error message describing what’s going on, but there are a few easy things to double check.
In order to make calls via SchoolStatus on the web, your computer will need a microphone. Most modern laptops have one built in, but if you’re using a desktop or an older laptop and are unsure you may want to reach out to your IT person.
Once you’re sure that you do have a microphone correctly connected to your computer, you need to ensure that SchoolStatus has been allowed access to use the microphone. The first time you attempt to make a call via the web, you should be prompted to allow microphone permissions. If you don’t remember that happening, or accidentally clicked no, you can change that setting. The process for allowing permissions can vary depending on which Internet browser you’re using. Usually, you should be able to click the green “SchoolStatus LLC” portion of the URL bar (sometimes this may just appear as a lock symbol) and modify the setting there. If you’re unable to find this setting, you should reach out to your IT person for help.
Chrome Mic Permissions
Firefox Mic Permissions
Safari Mic Permissions
Microsoft Edge Mic Permissions
Next, check out how to use SchoolStatus Mobile to connect with contacts.