main content starts here

Emergency text messaging to debut April 2

Filed in Archive by on March 28, 2018

words inside text bubbleIn an effort to strengthen emergency communications, the district is introducing text messaging and automated phone calls through School Messenger. In 2018-19, the School Messenger system will replace School News Notifier (SNN) for district and school communications. School Messenger has been used this year by the district, in conjunction with SNN, to communicate with parents via email only. The district will be expanding use of School Messenger to include text messages and automated phone calls for emergency communications. 

We will be using the break week, April 2-6, to launch the text messaging feature in School Messenger.

On Monday, April 2, faculty and staff will be sent a text message invitation from School Messenger and can opt-in to receive emergency text messages from BCSD.

This confirmation is required prior to staff members receiving important text messages from our schools. 

For those who have provided their school building or department with a current cell phone number, the message on Monday will look like this:

Bethlehem Central School District messages. Reply Y to confirm, HELP 4 info. Msg&data rates may apply. Msg freq varies. schoolmessenger.com/tm If you would like to receive text messages, please reply “Y” when you receive this message.

Text messages from our schools will be sent from School Messenger’s “short code” of 67587. Short codes are the industry standard, and the fastest, most reliable way deliver mass text notifications.

How often will I receive text messages?

The district does not intend to use School Messenger frequently for text messages or phone calls. These are most likely to be used when a time-sensitive matter must be brought to the attention of staff and/or district families. Most routine communication from the system will be sent via e-mail. However, text messages will be sent via this system for snow days, school delays, early dismissals or in the event of an emergency or unforeseen event.

Will I be charged for the text messages that I receive from School Messenger?

School Messenger does not charge recipients for 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.

What if I don’t receive a text invitation from School Messenger on April 2?

Don’t worry. This most likely means that the district does not have a cell phone number on file for you. To ensure the district has your contact information, please fill out this Google form. A follow-up invitation to opt-in to School Messenger will be sent out later in the week.

What happens if I do not reply to the invitation message or do not reply right away?

If you do not reply, you won’t receive any future texts from our schools. You can respond to the invitation message anytime. If you no longer have the invitation, you can opt in at any point in the future by texting “Y” to 67587.

How do I know if my response to the invitation was successful?

After you text one of the keywords to the short code, the system will respond back with one of three messages: A registration confirmation; a message indicating that you have unsubscribed; or a help/unknown keyword response.

What does it mean if I text “Y” and receive an error message in response?

If you receive what appears to be an error message, it most likely means that short code text messaging is not enabled on your wireless subscription plan. You may wish to follow-up with your carrier for more information.

How do recipients opt-out of receiving text messages?

You can do this by not responding to the text message invitation. You can also text “STOP” to 67587 at any time, opt out at http://schoolmessenger.com/txtmsg, or contact 

Will parents be receiving text messages from School Messenger?

Yes. Once the staff invitation has been sent, parents will be notified about the new text messaging feature and the district will set a date for parents to opt in via text message in the same way staff will on April 2.