School Messenger

What is School Messenger?
School Messenger is a notification system that offers rapid calling capacity, includes real-time translation from English to 30+ languages, and can easily send voice, text, and email messages to reach virtually any device including mobile phones, landline phones, IP phones, pagers, PDAs, smart phones, and more. The school system will also have the capability to provide web-based access for parents, staff and other recipients so that they can manage their notification preferences and view past messages.
Who has access to update School Messenger? Receive notifications?
  • ONLY principals and assistant principals will have access to post school-based messages. There is to be no sharing of logons or passwords. Mia Cross will be the top administrator of School Messenger at the district level.
  • Parents will make all updates to phone numbers and email addresses, set notification preferences for SMS, review old messages, etc. within School Messenger.
  • Parents will have to add their students’ cell phone numbers to their own preferences if students are to receive messages.
  • Outside parties not affiliated with a student or a school (i.e. community member) interested in receiving messages will have to request to be added to a custom list maintained by Mia Cross.
  • Staff will update their preferred phone numbers in School Messenger and are also encouraged to notify the ACPS HR department with these numbers as well.
What will School Messenger be used for?
School Messenger will be used to notify parents, students, staff, and the community of school closings and/or delays, early dismissals, district-wide emergency notices, pre-set calendar reminders, etc. Schools will use School Messenger for school-based messages such as PTA meeting reminders, email blasts, newsletters, etc. School Messenger WILL NOT be used for attendance, food service, or outside organization requests.
What are the methods of communication?
ALL emergency notifications, whether school-based or district-wide, will go out on School Messenger as voice messages from the Central Office. Text message default settings will be turned off; parents and staff will need to activate SMS if interested as normal text messaging rates apply. More lengthy distributions, such as newsletters, should be distributed via School Messenger’s email option.
Aspen Student Portal Updates! 
Parents and students can now update Directory Release Information and School Messenger OPT IN choices using the Aspen Student Portal. Please note: this OPT IN is a one-time consent, which is tied directly to a student's record, not individual telephone numbers (see policy KDC - School System Sponsored Media). Directions to update Aspen are as follows:
Once logged into the Aspen Student Portal, select the MY INFO top tab. From MY DETAILS side tab, the Directory Release and OPT IN to receive School Messenger Phone Messages information data will be displayed.
From the PAGES top tab when you log into the Aspen Student Portal, click the Initiate button in the TASKS widget, then click the magnifying glass and select the student name (there should only be one choice) and click OK. Click the NEXT button. The current choices for both the Do Not Distribute Codes and School Messenger OPT IN are listed.
  • To view code descriptions for the Do Not Distribute Codes, click the drop down arrow next to the selection box and hold the mouse pointer over the codes for a brief description.
  • School Messenger OPT IN – a check in the box indicates you have opted in and will receive calls/messages. No check in the box indicates you have NOT opted in and will NOT receive calls/messages.
  • Once selections are updated, click NEXT and then FINISH.