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SchoolMessenger

Crash course for a snow day:

1. Be next to a phone and log in to PowerSchool at the District level

2. Select all students, then switch to "Staff" tab and hit return key to select all staff too

2.5 Click the PowerSchool logo to get back to the Start page. Verify that the total # of recipients is sane. As of this writing we have 1886 students, so if you've got them AND staff selected, the total will be well over 2000. 

3. Click "Message Sender", pick "Info Emails AND Phones", fill in a subject

4. Click "Add Message Recipients", choose "Saved Recipient Lists", check the box for "ALL Other recipients", click "Add Recipients", click "Continue" (this way the school board, bus drivers, etc. will also get it)

5. Click Phone tab, follow prompts to get called to record the message, click "Save Phone Message"

6. Click Email tab, fill in Subject, optionally change "From Name" and/or "From Email", type short message saying same thing as was said in the call, click "Save Email Message"

7. Click "Continue", verify, click "Send Now"

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What this system can do:

Phones:
- We can contact up to 2 informational phones and, in an emergency, an additional 2 emergency phones, forparents.
- We can contact 1 phone for (older) students.
- We can contact up to 2 informational phones and, in an emergency, an addition 2 emergency phones, for staff.
Emails:
- We can contact up to 2 emails for parents.
- We can contact 1 email for (older) students
- We can contact up to 3 emails for staff, but the 3rd email is usually blank/duplicate, and will probably be eliminated altogether, so pretend it doesn't exist.

All of this is mapped from PowerSchool on the students' Contact Info page, and on staffs' Emergency/Info Contacts page. Example of what the broadcast types look like:


READ BELOW to see what they actually mean. Student emails are in here, too.

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Scenario A -- general email: (e.g. Principal's weekly newsletter) I want to send an email to all parents and students.

Solution: PowerSchool, select all kids, click Message Sender, pick broadcast type of Info Emails Only. No phones will be called, both parents and their kid will get email. 

Optional: And I want to include other people such as school board members and/or other building principals & superintendent and/or town parks and rec and/or bus drivers. Click Add Message Recipients, Saved Recipient Lists, add the relevant selections. Dresden Board + Town Parks and Rec show one recipient because they are actually Google lists which in turn contain multiple actual people.

Optional: And I want to include staff. PowerSchool, Staff tab, return key to select all staff, use same broadcast type. Will go to staff primary (school email) + secondary (usually personal email @gmail or @yahoo or whatever) + legacy 3rd address (usually blank or dupe, I will probably nuke these altogether.) 
Or, just resend your message via the existing Google staff lists.
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Scenario B -- informational call: (e.g. snow day) I want to send a non-emergency phone call and email to all parents and students and staff.

Solution: PowerSchool, select all kids and staff, click Message Sender, pick broadcast type of Info Emails AND Phones. Will call 2 non-emergency parent phones, 2 non-emergency staff phones, student cell phone if exists, AND! will send email containing audio recording to parent 1 and 2 emails, staff primary and alt emails, and student email if exists.
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Scenario C -- any emergency:

Solution: PowerSchool, select everyone, click Message Sender, use Emergency broadcast type, will hit everyone on everything we've got.
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Scenario D -- email to parents only: (e.g. sensitive info) I want to send an email to just parents.

Solution: PowerSchool, select kids, click Message Sender, use Parent Info Emails Only broadcast type. Will only email parents, not kids, and won't call anyone.
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Scenario E -- email to all students or staff: I want to send an email to just students, and/or to just staff.

Solution: Don't use SchoolMessenger, just use existing Google staff and "class-of" lists.
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Scenario F -- call or text to students: (e.g. HHS Guidance or athletics reminder -- coming later) I want to call and/or text student cell phones only.

Solution: PowerSchool, select kids, click Message Sender, pick broadcast type of Student Phones Only. Will not call parents or staff, will not send email to anyone. 
Note that sending text messages is NOT yet enabled, as it requires individual opt-in from everyone due to legal restrictions, and there's a lengthy document about how to roll that out. Email me if you want a copy.
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Scenario G -- call only, to just parents: (e.g. Announcing a drill or something, maybe? Not sure) I want to send a call to parents and/or staff only, no email, no kids.

Solution: PowerSchool, select whomever (staff OR families OR both,) click Message Sender, pick broadcast type of Info Phones Only. Will call 2 non-emergency phones, will NOT call kid, will NOT email anyone. 
(Not sure whether or why we'd ever do a call without including the email component; maybe to cut down on frivolous email replies from bored/picky parents?)
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Scenario H -- The annual email nag to do InfoSnap -- I want to send a form letter containing the Parent Portal Access ID and Key for each student, to ONLY the primary guardian email address. 

Solution: PowerSchool, select kids, click Message Sender, use Parent Email 1 Only broadcast type. Will only email parents, not kids, and won't call anyone. See this page for details.
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The "Attendance" broadcast type should be ignored at least for now, it has to do with a feature we're not planning to implement whereby attendance-related calls can be automated. 
The "Survey" type is for a special case, and I've looked into it, we can definitely already do more/better with Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.

Accompanying pictogram:



HOW TO UNBLOCK EMAILS:

Occasionally, parents unsubscribe themselves from our SchoolMessenger email communications -- usually by accident (they click or tap the "unsubscribe" link in an email.) This is a 1:45 video showing you how to UNblock someone (all of you SchoolMessenger users can do this.) This video is "unlisted" (not public, link-only) because some real email addresses are visible.


DRESDEN BOARD etc.:

1. Add Message Recipients -> Saved Recipient Lists FIXME add screenshot
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