Text Messaging for Schools: A Comprehensive Guide

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Amit Gairola

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June 26, 2024

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Key Takeaways

  1. Text messaging for schools is a channel which ensures timely information flow and establishes a connection among all the involved entities
  2. Text messaging can be used in different use cases like PTMs, payment reminders, attendance alerts etc.
  3. A system of text messaging can be implemented in schools using an SMS API provider like Message Now
  4. Texting is preferred over Email due to multiple reasons including a direct nature of the channel
  5. Compliance with regulations and privacy should be ensured while implementing text messaging for schools

Mobile phone users in the United States send 227 million text messages per hour. Businesses and other entities also use text message blasts to communicate with all users/ prospects/ customers at once.  

Text messaging for schools stands out as a pivotal channel to ensure: -

  1. Timely and reliable information flow,  
  1. Fostering a stronger connection between educators, students, and parents.  

With the undeniable proliferation of mobile technology, leveraging text messaging for schools has become not just an option but a necessity, ensuring everyone within the school ecosystem stays informed and engaged. This can be done for multiple purposes like to send text message invitations, professional text messages etc.  

The guide here explains text messaging for schools in detail.

Different Use Cases of School Text Messaging

Different Use Cases of School Text Messaging

Text messaging for schools offers a versatile and efficient communication tool for various educational needs. Here are some of its primary applications:

  1. Parent-Teacher Meeting Confirmations

To enhance the efficiency of parent-teacher meetings, schools can send text message invitations and confirmations to ensure parents are informed about meeting times and any schedule changes. This method helps minimize delays and no-shows, maintaining a streamlined schedule beneficial for both teachers and parents.

  1. Payment Reminders

Schools often need to collect payments for activities such as school trips or lunch fees. Text messaging serves as an effective reminder tool, prompting parents about due payments and providing a direct link for online payment, thus reducing the instances of late payments.
Text messages can then be shared internally amongst the family of student so that the right POC gets the message. You can refer to our guide on how to forward a text message for the same.

  1. Attendance Alerts

Sending quick text alerts to parents when a student is absent is a proactive way to manage attendance. These messages inform parents immediately about their child's absence, allowing them to respond or explain the reason quickly, which is crucial for maintaining accurate attendance records.

  1. Emergency Notifications

In the case of unexpected events like school closures due to severe weather or other emergencies, text messaging is invaluable. It ensures that parents receive timely and critical information, allowing them to make necessary arrangements for their child's safety and care.

  1. Fundraising Campaigns

Fundraising is a crucial part of the duties of a school administration. Text messaging is a superb tool to facilitate the same. With personalized templates and messaging, many potential sponsors can be reach out. Effective strategies for SMS advertising should be adhered to for effective ROI on such text messaging campaigns.

Implementing a School Text Messaging System

  1. Choosing the Right Platform

Selecting a reliable and user-friendly SMS platform is crucial. SMS API providers like Message Central provider all critical features such as integration with school management systems, automated SMS schedules, and compliance with telecommunications regulations.  
Ensure the platform supports multiple languages and has robust security measures to protect sensitive data.

  1. Building a Contact List

Efficiently manage your contact list by using tools that allow for manual editing, importing from spreadsheets, or synchronizing with existing databases. This ensures that messages reach the intended recipients.  
Organize contacts into specific groups for targeted communication, enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of each message sent. You can also refer to our guide on growing text list for a comprehensive guide.

  1. Complying with Regulations

Adherence to regulations like the TCPA and FERPA is mandatory. Obtain express consent from recipients before sending messages, provide clear opt-out instructions, and ensure messages are sent during appropriate hours. Consent has also been mandatory in A2P 10DLC.  
Use a FERPA-compliant system for any communication involving sensitive student information to maintain privacy and compliance.

Ensuring Compliance and Privacy in School Messaging

  1. Importance of FERPA and TCPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates the protection of students' personally identifiable information, requiring that any communication, including SMS, adheres to secure, compliant systems.  
Similarly, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) broadens this scope, requiring explicit consent for text communications not just from students, but from anyone involved in the educational process. These regulations ensure that personal data remains confidential and is only accessible to those with a legitimate need.

  1. Getting Consent

Consent is a cornerstone of compliant school messaging. Schools must obtain express consent, which can be as straightforward as a verbal agreement, an opt-in on a web form, or a response to a text message.  
For instance, during enrollment, schools might include a checkbox on forms that allows new students and parents to opt into receiving messages, clearly explaining the use and frequency of communications.

  1. Providing Opt-In and Opt-Out Options

It's crucial to provide clear mechanisms for opting in and out of text communications. Schools should facilitate an easy opt-in process, perhaps during enrollment or through a dedicated SMS campaign where recipients can text a keyword like "YES" to subscribe.  
Equally important is the opt-out process, which should be straightforward, typically involving a simple reply such as "STOP" to halt further communications. Compliance requires that these options be clearly communicated and rigorously maintained to respect user preferences and legal standards.

School Text Messaging vs. Email Communication

  1. Open Rates and Delivery Speed

Text messaging significantly outperforms email especially in open rates and delivery speed. Text messages usually have an open rate of almost 98%. The benchmarks for emails depend upon the industry but range between 50%-60%.
Most text messages are read within just a few minutes of receipt, making them ideal for urgent updates.

  1. Ease of Use and Accessibility

Text messaging does not require an internet connection, making it a dependable option even in areas with poor connectivity.  

This is particularly beneficial in educational settings where not all students or parents may have consistent access to internet services.

The simplicity of SMS, capped at 160 characters, encourages concise and clear communication, ensuring that messages are straightforward and quick to read. You can also use text abbreviations to fit in more information in the same character length.  

  1. Engagement Levels

The engagement levels with SMS are notably higher than those with email. Text messages have a 45% response rate, which is significantly higher than email's response rate.  

This interactive nature of texting fosters a more dynamic communication channel between schools and their communities. Schools can leverage SMS to send polls, surveys, and reminders, actively involving parents and students in the educational process and ensuring a higher level of participation and feedback.

Text Messaging for Schools with Message Central

Message Central is an SMS API platform with global connectivity. The platform is trusted by fastest growing enterprises across the world. Schools should select Message Central for their text campaigns because: -Numbered List

  1. 24/7 customer support  
  1. Global connectivity  
  1. High deliverability and best SMS routes  
  1. Competitive SMS rates
  1. Real time campaign reports

You can get in touch with the team to start using Message Central for school text messaging campaigns.


1. What are some effective strategies for professional text messaging?

When crafting professional text messages, there are several key strategies to consider: Bullet Points

  1. Keep your messages brief and to the point.
  1. Use a casual, yet professional tone that resonates with your audience.
  1. Choose appropriate times to send messages to maximize engagement.
  1. Personalize your messages to grab the recipient's attention.
  1. Clearly convey the benefits of your offer to excite and engage customers.

2. What does receiving a text with the number 129 signify?

If you receive a text message displaying the number 129, it indicates that someone tried to contact you and, instead of leaving a voicemail, they left their phone number for you to call back. This service, provided by some mobile carriers like T-Mobile, notifies you via text to contact the number left by the caller.

3. Is there a difference between a text message and an SMS message?

There is no difference between a text message and an SMS (Short Message Service) message. Both terms refer to the same process of sending messages from one device to another, typically containing text.

4. How does text messaging impact students' literacy skills?

Research has shown that text messaging can have a positive impact on literacy skills. Studies, such as those by researcher Kate Fox, suggest that regular texting helps improve individuals' abilities to summarize information, write concisely, and enhance their diplomatic skills.

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