The Niagara Falls City School District is adding text messaging capability to the system used now for automated phone calls and emails. The system will be configured to send text messages to cell phone numbers whose recipients have agreed to receive them. Over the next weeks, parents and staff will be encouraged to confirm the District has accurate phone numbers and agree to participate.
There are only two requirements for a recipient to receive messages from via an SMS text: the recipient’s wireless number must be on file with the District; and the recipient must “Opt-In Confirmation” from his or her wireless device. These requirements address any concerns related to the accuracy of the database and costs associated with receiving text messages.
Recipients will be able to easily opt-in by simply sending “Y” (or “Yes”), via text message, to the 67587. Potential participants will be invited to do this over the next several weeks and continue throughout the year.
Once a recipient is in the system, any changes in phone number that are reported to the District will number will automatically be sent an Opt-In message.
“We believe this option will be one many parents and guardians, as well as staff, will want to utilize. In many situations, it is more convenient to receive a text message than a phone call, and it can be read more quickly,” said Community Relations Director Judie Glaser.
“We expect text messaging capability to “go live” in May.”
How do recipients “Opt-In” to receive text messages?
1. Confirm the text device number(s) is on file with the District.
2. Text “Y” to 67587 from each wireless device you wish to receive texts on. Note: Depending on the data synchronization configuration, it may take 24 hours or more for numbers to be updated from the District’s database.
How do recipients opt-out of receiving text messages?
Recipients not wishing to receive text messages to a particular number can simply do one of the following:
1. Don’t opt-in and don’t reply to the opt-in invitation message.
2. Text “STOP” to 67587 at any time.
3. Request that your organizations SchoolMessenger Communicate system administrator add the number to the account’s phone number block list.
Can the text messages come from a district phone number, instead of the short code?
No. Short codes are the industry standard, and the only fast and reliable way to deliver mass text notifications.
I received a text message that says it’s from SchoolMessenger? What does it mean?
If it was from 67587, that was most likely the Opt-In Invitation message sent by SchoolMessenger, which is the system used by the District to send automated phone calls and emails.
To continue receiving informational text messages from the school(s) reply with “Y”.
If you do not reply, you won’t receive any future texts from our schools.
I “Opted-In”, but I’m not receiving texts?
Ensure that the District has your correct device number in the database (Student Information System or Human Resources System), and that it is located in the SMS (Short Message Service) phone field(s) that are synchronized with School-Messenger. It may take 24 hours for a number to become active after being changed or added to the District’s system. Send a text with “Y”, from that specific device, to 67587. You should receive an opt-in confirmation message from the service. If you want to receive texts on multiple devices, each device number must complete the Opt-In process.
How do I know if it worked?
After you text one of the key words to the short code the system will ALWAYS respond back with one of three messages:
Any other response – or no response: indicates the recipient should contact their wireless device provider to have SMS messaging/premium content enabled (see below for more details).
What does it mean if I texted “Y” or “yes” and I received some sort of error message back?
If you receive what appears to be an error message, similar to one of the following, it most likely means that short code text messaging is not enabled on your wireless subscription plan:
• Service access denied
• Message failed
• Shortcode may have expired or shortcode texting may be blocked on your account
• Does Not Participate These replies DO NOT indicate that the wireless provider can’t receive messages from SchoolMessenger. Rather, they are an indication that the specific mobile device does not have short code SMS texting enabled for that number (this is sometimes disabled by default on company provided cell phones).
To address this, contact your wireless provider. Note: Providers sometimes use various names for this type of texting service (e.g. short code, SMS, premium, etc.). If you simply ask about text messaging, your carrier may assume you are referring to person-to-person. Therefore be very clear to refer to “short code” text messages. Most TV programs which have a voting component use short code SMS messaging (e.g. American Idol, Dancing with the Stars). Using an example such as this can be helpful in clarifying the type of texting service you want to enable.
Will I be charged for the text messages that I receive from SchoolMessenger?
SchoolMessenger does not charge recipients for the text messages that they receive or send to the short code; 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.