Our Notify tool allows for sending district and school-wide notifications. Please remember, these messages will only go out to preferred contacts. Here's how to use it.
You can watch a video tutorial here or you can keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions.
Create your Notify Message
Click Notify Message Center from your left menu. Don't see the Message Center? Click here for more info.
Click the red New Message button.
Select your audience.
Which parents will get the message? NOTE: Only Preferred Contacts (parents with a phone number marked with a star) will receive Notify messages, regardless of an emergency or non-emergency status. If a parent has a "star" but has blocked communication from the district, they will not receive non-emergency messages but will receive emergency messages.
You can narrow your audience by choosing from a variety of options: one or multiple schools, one or multiple student groups, one or multiple grade levels, or the entire district (if you have that access level). NOTE: In order for any student group to be available in the 'Groups' dropdown, the group must have the 'Notifiable' option toggled on in the Groups module. To learn more about this, click here.
You can also send staff members your Notify message if we have received that contact file from your district.
You may also wish to share your Notify message on social media: check the social media platform box to tweet a message via Twitter or post a message to Facebook.
Once you're done selecting your recipients, click Next.
Choose Non-Emergency or Emergency status.
Note: Emergency Messages may only be sent by district-level personal and should only be used for critical messaging that requires immediate parental notice, ie. school closings, lockdowns, etc. Parents will receive these notifications within 1-2 seconds of sending these messages. Read more about Emergency Messages here.
Note: Parents can opt out of Non-Emergency Messages, if they do not want to be informed about events, school functions, fundraisers, food sales, etc.
Choose the method of delivery. Links can be sent via text and email and will show as a hyperlink. We recommend using a link-shortening service (such as www.tinyurl.com) to assist parents who may, for whatever reason, not be able to receive a link and need to type your link into a browser.
Choose when to send the message.
Send immediately or schedule for a later date or time. Then, click Next.
Now you'll see a confirmation box to ensure all your details are correct before you send the message. Click Send Message when you're ready or Go Back to edit something.
Note: There are no attachments in Notify messages.
Viewing Message Stats
To view your message delivery stats, click Message Center. Then click anywhere on the message to see the specific stats.
Use the toggles to refine your results.
Choose Emergency or Non-emergency in Notify
Notify messages sent from the district or school level can be classified as either emergency or non-emergency. Which should you choose in order to get the best delivery rates? Here's your guide.
Reserved for urgent messages only!
Hopefully, this is a message type you won't have to send frequently. Examples of emergency messages are imminent bad weather, immediate school closing, active shooter, or active shooter drills.
We want to ensure emergency school district messages are sent with the utmost urgency, so we've notified the major cell phone carriers that our short code 939393 will be used ONLY for school emergencies. This ensures messages are sent as quickly as possible, without delay (in a matter of seconds).
NOTE: There is NO opt-out option for emergency messages.
Hopefully, the majority of your mass messages will be non-emergencies. Examples include announcements for pep rallies, PTO meetings, free dress days, special calendar events, report cards, sporting events, spirit week, etc.
These messages are sent via a long code (for example 601-555-1234). Each district using Notify will have a pool of numbers from which messages will send. This ensures messages are less likely to be marked as 'spam' by the cell carriers. Messages are sent within a matter of minutes to hours, rather than seconds. (Example: a message sent to 60,000 recipients can take up to 180 minutes. Most messages will be delivered in a matter of minutes.)
NOTE: Recipients can opt-out of non-emergency messages.
Messaging Staff with Notify
To send a message to staff only, simply select Staff, select to send to all schools, or click the drop-down to select individual schools, because you are messaging Staff, you will not select a grade. Click Next. *Please note - Under Recipients, you will need to un-check Contacts when messaging staff only!
Now, Compose, Schedule, and Confirm your message! Select if your message is Non-Emergency or Emergency, how your recipients will receive your message (Text, Email, or Call), type your message, and click Next.
You can schedule the message to be sent on a specific date and time or Send Immediately, then click Next.
After you confirm that your message is ready, click Send Message.
Note: Messages are deliverable to US, Canada, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico numbers, only.
***We have added Notify failure and undeliverable messages to the Flagged Contacts module to assist staff in recognizing and potentially resolving issues with contacts used in Notify.