S is for SMS
As schools prepare for an exciting new academic year, it’s time school administrators added SMS messaging into their communication plan. SMS messaging is particularly effective in crisis situations, as it can provide parents and teachers with information even when the Internet is down. But SMS is also an effective channel for routine communications between teachers and students, schools and parents, and school staff and their administrators.
Teachers and Students (and their Parents)
The average student is in fourth or fifth grade when they receive their first smartphone. Teachers have the opportunity to instill positive phone usage in their students, by encouraging their pupils to use SMS to keep up with schoolwork.
To that end, teachers can send text messages to their students reminding them of upcoming tests, or alerting them that the book report they had been working on for the last month is finally due.
Triggers can be set up to automatically text students who have missed a few days of school or habitually forget their homework, asking them how they are feeling or reminding them to do their work.
For schools that have an online student portal, two-factor authentication can be used to maintain a student’s online privacy and protection.
Schools and Parents
Over the course of a school year, administrators and parents require multiple touchpoints. They remind parents to attend school events like teacher conferences, plays, or basketball games. In colder climates, schools could use SMS to let parents know that there will be outdoor recess, and students need to dress warmly.
The always-on nature of SMS makes it easier to alert parents when their child is sick or injured. While many working parents might not answer their phone during a business meeting or while on the job, most parents check text messages within minutes of its arrival.
Administrators and Staff
SMS is a highly effective tool for managing a large teaching and administrative staff. Sick teachers can text their supervisors that they will be out, while administrators can use the channel to find available substitutes.
For schools that require teachers to participate in recess or lunch duty, SMS can also be used to communicate those schedules and help coordinate teacher’s participation in student activities.
A Better Way to Share Information
SMS messages aren’t about to replace parent-teachers conferences, but it can create a more effective path of communication coming from the school. To find out more about how your school can create an SMS communication plan, contact our SMS team today.