MySchool provides schools with the ability to send SMS messages to their user population. Combined with Announcements, MySchool users have a comprehensive communication system which provides a quick and easy solution to track all forms of contact with parents, staff and students.
Please note that SMS costs are an addition to your standard contract pricing. The estimated costs are available via our provider's website. Enter your country and scroll to the bottom for an approximate cost.
How to Access
Access to the SMS and billing pages are attached to the following permissions available in your user groups. We would advise that you restrict this to a central administration group, or create a specific group with fixed members only.
You can find the SMS list and send functionality under the administer menu header, SMS.
Information about MySchool SMS
Due to national restrictions set by our provider, we are unable to change the sender number for SMS messages.
- The SMS function is for sending only.
- The send telephone number used is provided by our SMS provider.
- Each message contains 160 characters, the maximum amount of characters allowed in the text box is 480 (3 messages will be sent and charged). Please note that the order of the messages may not be sequenced exactly, so be wary of long messages.
Top Tip: Send an SMS asking users to verify their announcements or email for long messages. This way you will not exceed the 160 characters.
- You cannot send videos, images or attachments with the SMS feature.
- SMS can be sent to students and users. they must have a telephone-type cell and a valid number entered in their profiles. The system will automatically add the country prefix depending on the address field of the profile. A system default is set in your system settings, check with your CSM to confirm this.
- If your recipients are not receiving a message that has been confirmed as being sent, we can check our internal provider logs. However, the user may need to consult their own network provider for details.
On the list view, SMS Logs, created messages are shown by date sent, sender, recipients (target audience) and total cost when applicable. Note that the date is a blue hyperlink. You can click on this for more information about the message sent.
The top list shows the recipients who have received the SMS. The bottom half shows the recipients who did not receive and the reason for them not receiving. The price or cost field will be populated after 24hrs with the total cost. This cost will be applied either at contract renewal or periodically during your school's contract year. The internal MySchool invoice reference will be entered.
Sending a new SMS
Open a new SMS from quick actions or the list view, New SMS.
There are four different templates available
- Standard is a free text box, with no text.
- Absence report - This is a standard template which is sent when a student is noted as absent in the attendance register. The absent attendance type has to be configured to be included in communications. Check out this article on how to configure attendance types.
- Disciplinary report - If you use the behaviour module, then the system will detect if an event has been created and produce a template that can be sent to the guardians of the students involved.
- Late report - Similar to the absence report but for students that have been classed as late in the day's attendance register.
These templates can be customised using edit messages. The magic replacement tags can be used to personalise further the SMS templates. Please note that the same character limitations still apply with templates.
New SMS template
Let's look at the different options when creating a new standard SMS.
1. SMS Type
Select the type of SMS to send. With Attendance and Discipline templates, the date function will appear. This will generate reports from that date only.
In the other templates, the system will check on a specific date to see if there have been any events, absences or late. Once you have chosen the target parent group, the 'offenders' list will populate with the concerned students.
To choose the target recipients click on the field and then use the people picker to choose the target audience. Don't forget to check the uncontactable recipients from your list, before sending, make sure there is a valid cell number in the target profiles. If there are too many with empty telephone fields, refine your search, or look to update profiles using questionnaires.
On multi-school setups, users will still appear in the SMS logs, even though they are classed as past employees in the school.
To rectify this, then set start and end dates in the employment tab of the user profile for both the past and active schools.
Design your own reusable templates
You can create messages in the edit message functionality, by activating the message as an SMS template.
A simple text box allows you to create a reusable template on the send SMS page. Please note that there is a message character limit, so be concise in your wording. An amazing improvement for snow days or to send seasonal greetings each year.
When selecting standard SMS, a template field will show the enabled templates for sending SMS's.