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SchoolMessenger: What You Need To Know

In September of 2018, the North Colonie Central School District moved from the School Notification Network (or SNN) to SchoolMessenger as a way to contact our parents, students, and community members. SchoolMessenger is used for routine notifications, such as events or important dates to remember, as well as emergency notifications, such as school closings/delays and emergency situations in schools.

Listed below is the important information you need to know about SchoolMessenger as a parent, a community member, and how North Colonie will use the system itself.

Information for Parents

Parents do not need to sign up for a SchoolMessenger account. SchoolMessenger works with the Parent Portal and pulls your information from the Parent Portal into SchoolMessenger. Therefore, it is essential that you have signed up for a Parent Portal account and that all information in your account is accurate. We cannot give parent access to an outside SchoolMessenger account. Only Parent Portal accounts will get school-level notifications from SchoolMessenger. For more information on how to sign up for a Parent Portal account, please click here and follow the instructions.

Parents are also able to sign up for text alerts. If you did not receive a text asking you to opt-in to the service, please check the following steps:

  1. Check your Parent Portal account to make sure the number you wish to receive text messages on is listed under the “Cell Phone” field in “Family Members”. Only numbers listed in the “Cell Phone” field will be sent text messages
    1. If the number is incorrect, please enter the correct number. Once that number is entered, you should receive a message asking you to opt-in within 24 to 48 hours
    2. Respond “Y” or “Yes” to that text message. You are now opted-in
  2. If the number listed under “Cell Phone” is correct, please contact the Communications Office for further assistance

Information for Community Members

The following steps are for district residents without children in grades K-12 who would like to remain informed about district-wide events.

  1. Click on this link to head to the SchoolMessenger page and click the “Sign Up Now” link near the bottom of the page
  2. You will be taken to the sign-up page where you will need to confirm the encrypted image, your name, a valid email address, and a password. Review and accept the Terms of Service. Click “Create Account” when you are done
  3. DO NOT CLOSE THE TAB WINDOW. This page will change to the one where you will enter your activation code.
  4. Check your email. There will be an Account Activation email from support@schoolmessenger.com with the subject “Account Activation” which contains a link to activate your account. Activation codes are valid for 24 hours. Type the activation code into the confirmation page for SchoolMessenger. You will then have to enter your password in order to activate your SchoolMessenger account
  5. Once you’ve activated your account, you’re ready to select your notification preferences on what kind of messages you will receive. There are four categories you can select: General News, Closings & Delays, Continuing Education, and Music News. Choose the categories you would like to receive notifications for and click save

How North Colonie with use SchoolMessenger

The SchoolMessenger system is a way the North Colonie Central School District to communicate with parents and community members about everyday events and emergency situations. The type of communication will depend on the type of situation.

Email

Email will be the primary form of communication through SchoolMessenger. Email will be used to communicate school-level and district-wide events that are non-emergency in nature. Emergency alerts will be sent via email in conjunction with other forms of communication.

Text Messages (SMS)

Text messages (SMS) will only be used in emergency situations or situations where schools are closed. Only parents who have signed up for text alerts will receive text alerts. Community members who have signed up for text alerts in certain situations, such as Closings and Delays, will receive text messages in those instances. Text messages may also be sent for situations such as delayed bus runs, etc.

Phone Calls

Phone calls will only be used in emergency situations or situations where schools are closing early. Only parents who have signed up for phone calls will receive them. Community members who have signed up for phone calls in certain situations, such as Closings and Delays, will receive phone calls in those in those instances.