Wake County school leaders are urging parents to keep their contact information up to date to take advantage of a new feature that will allow them to get text messages or emails about what’s going on at their child’s school.
The Wake County school system is expanding the use of the SchoolMessenger notification system that’s been in place for several years to provide automated telephone messages to parents. SchoolMessenger will now also be able to provide updates through text messages or email, depending on what parents prefer.
“We’re giving parents information to help their children succeed in a way that works for them,” said Lisa Luten, a Wake schools spokeswoman.
Wake has been rolling out the new features of SchoolMessenger since January. Luten said about half of Wake’s 177 schools are using the new features, and the remaining schools will start by the end of the school year.
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Parents at the schools that have begun using the new features have received a text message asking if they want to opt in to get future messages. Parents need to reply “yes” to the message or text “yes” to 67587.
The school district does not pay for charges that may be incurred by parents for sending or receiving text messages. Parents can check with their wireless carrier for possible charges.
The system will alert parents and staff on things such as principal messages, school closings, early dismissals, attendance, special activities and school emergencies. Luten said some parents would rather read a message from their child’s school than listen to it on their phone.
Wake will eventually use the expanded notification system to email documents, such as bus route information, to parents instead of sending them in the mail.
Luten said the expanded features are made possible because Wake recently began requesting cellphone numbers and email addresses on student registration forms. In addition, she said the contact info is now integrated into the PowerSchool student information system.
School officials say parents who want to use the new features should make sure their child’s school has their current cellphone number, home phone number and email address on file.
Parents will be able to customize the type of messages they’d like to receive on their phone or by email by going to https://infocenter.schoolmessenger.com/ to create an account. Parents can also download the InfoCenter app.
Go to wcpss.net/schoolmessenger for more information on Wake County’s use of the SchoolMessanger system.