Parents are busy people. They need to get information on what is happening in their students' sent to them, especially if there is an emergency. Comfort Independent School District (CISD) ensures that parents are in the know for the routine as well as the emergencies and bad weather closing/delay notifications.
SchoolMessenger is the district's main tool for immediate outreach.
While the District or Campus website is a great place for parents to go to find information, parents don't know when there is new information posted. School newsletters may only go out every week or even every month. The tool CISD uses when it needs to let all parents know that something is happening is SchoolMessenger. This communications system allows the district to send mass telephone, e-mail and text messages to hundreds of parents and guardians in a timely fashion.
The district has developed some protocols around how / when this tool is used.
Who gets the call?
The contact information from the Student Enrollment sheet that parents / guardians must file each year is put into the district's student information system. Once a day, new information from that system is downloaded into the SchoolMessenger's secure and confidential system. So within 24 hours of being entered, a new family may begin receiving communications. Therefore, it is imperative that the number entered on the Student Enrollment sheet is correct AND if a phone number is changed the correct campus office receives the updated phone number.
Routine calls: Caller ID 830-995-6400 - are made to the first telephone record for the first family listed. These recorded message calls may come from the district office of the student's school. They are often reminders, such as when report cards are going out, or new information parents may need, such as a change in school schedule. The system does mark duplicates, so parents with more than one student will not get duplicate calls. IF the telephone is answered by an answering machine, the system will leave a message.
Non-School Hours Emergency calls: Caller ID 830-995-6400 - are made from the District Office only. This kind of call may be made, for example, to tell families that school will be closed or delayed because of a power outage, or bad weather.
School-Hours Emergency Calls: Caller ID 830-995-6400 - are made from the District Office only.
In a true emergency, such as a tornado or fire, the district or school may need to get to parents quickly. Parents may need to come to the school to pick up their student. Or they may be asked not to come to school or to go to a different location to be reunited with their student. In the case of a true emergency, SchoolMessenger will send a message from the district in all of these ways:
- A recorded message to every telephone number on record for a student
- An e-mail to each e-mail address on record
- A text message to each cell phone on record, IF the cell phone's owner has previously opted in to receive those messages (see separate instructions below)
District and school staff has strict instructions to use this emergency tool ONLY in a true emergency.
In case of bad weather
To ensure that all families know when school has been cancelled or delayed CISD will place a call to all parents via SchoolMessenger around 6 am. If you need to know prior to getting the call the information will also be available on the District's website or area television stations. The calls are made early in order to provide enough time to get to school.
Text message permission
Cell phone carriers will not let SchoolMessenger send out mas text messages unless it can show the owner has granted permission.
Recipients opt-in by texting the word YES to the SchoolMessenger short code - 68453 from each device they wish to receive a text message on.
The recipient's test of YES to the SchoolMessenger short code is this verification.
Changing your numbers or e-mail addresses
Because this information is housed in our student information system, changes must be made at your child's school. Simply contact the school office to let them know your contact information has changed. Let the office know if you want to change which telephone number is listed first. Some parents who do not want early bad weather calls to go to their home number may choose to list a cell phone first.
If your phone number changes you will cease to receive any SchoolMessenger calls or texts if you opted in. Contact the school office and update the information and you will again receive SchoolMessenger calls.
Comfort ISD ID for SchoolMessenger = comforttxed
Receive School News The Way You Choose
To make sure that you’re receiving school news and alerts in the ways that work best for you, Comfort ISD is launching a new communications app.
Sign up for the FREE SchoolMessenger app today to:
- Set your communications preferences for calls, emails, texts, and more
- Receive all kinds of school messages (classroom and group updates, activity alerts, school and district notifications) in one single app
- Review your messages on any device – smartphone, laptop, etc.
Go to http://go.schoolmessenger.com to download the SchoolMessenger mobile app for Apple and Android devices or use the web-based version from your internet browser.
The new SchoolMessenger app replaces the earlier InfoCenter app, and smartphones with the InfoCenter app installed will automatically receive the new SchoolMessenger app if the phone is set to accept automatic app updates.
With the new SchoolMessenger app, parents and community members have 24/7/365 access to important school notifications such as weather and emergency alerts.
In addition, the app can allow teachers and parents to directly communicate with each other, individually or in groups, all from within the same app.
Get started with the SchoolMessenger app today. Go to http://go.schoolmessenger.com and sign up for your FREE account.