This guide will explain everything there is to know about SMS Alerts.
- Getting Started with SMS Alerts
- SMS Alert System Rules
- Who can send SMS Alerts?
- How families & staff opt-in
- How families & staff opt-out
- How to compose an SMS Alert
- Details about the Sent folder
Getting Started with SMS Alerts
Before using SMS Alerts with your families, please familiarize yourself with the contents of this article. We recommend that you inform your families that you will begin using SMS Alerts, and tell them about opting in, opting out, and the fact that the SMS Alerts are one-way messages only.
SMS Alerts are one-way messages only
SMS Alerts are intended to be used for things like school closures due to bad weather, or other time-sensitive notifications. Do not construct messages in a way that may solicit a response. If a parent or staff member replies to an SMS Alert, they will receive the following response: “You cannot reply to this SMS. If you have a question, please contact your provider directly.”
SMS Alert System Rules
1. Messages are sent every 10 mins (ie 11:10, 11:20 etc). So for example, a message submitted in Kindertales at 10:03 AM will reach recipients at 10:10 AM.
2. When a staff member or parent opts-out by replying ‘STOP’, they are opted out immediately. It takes 4 hours for the Kindertales system to reflect this opt-out status.
3. If a parent or staff member opts out from receiving SMS messages by replying ‘STOP’, they can opt back in immediately by replying ‘UNSTOP’. If they choose to opt out a second time, they are restricted from opting in for 30 days.
Who can send SMS Alerts?
All users with access to the web-based Director portal have access to send SMS messages. Available recipients are restricted based on the user’s role and location permissions. SMS Alerts can not be sent via the Classroom app. Users who can access SMS Alerts:
- Restricted Directors
1. Primary and Secondary parent users can opt-in via their child’s Enrollment Form or via the Family manager in a child’s profile. All tertiary users can be opted-in by the Primary parent user or by an administrator via the Family manager.
2. For parents with multiple children in Kindertales, they can use any child’s Enrollment Form to opt-in or opt-out of SMS Alerts. The cell phone number and opt-in box will remain in sync across all childs’ Enrollment Forms.
3. Staff are opted-in automatically when their phone numbers are added via the Staff management settings.
1. Parents can opt-out at any time by replying ‘STOP’ to a received message or by un-checking the SMS Alerts Opt-In option found on the enrollment form and in Family user management.
2. Staff can opt-out at any time by replying ‘STOP’ to a received message.
3. Staff or parents who have opted out appear greyed out in the SMS Alerts Contacts screen. If they are greyed out, it is not possible to send them an SMS Alert.
Sending an SMS Message
Note: SMS Alert messages do not by default contain your Organization Name or the phrase “Reply ‘STOP’ to unsubscribe”. These will be added in an upcoming product update. In the meantime, we recommend you structure your messages like so:
Preschool ABC123: [Message contents here]. Reply ‘STOP’ to unsubscribe.
1. Click on ‘SMS Alert’ in the main menu.
2. Add contacts by going to the ‘Contacts’ tab or hitting the green plus button next to the ‘To’ field.
3. Select your contacts and click ‘Add Contacts’ to message. Contacts who have opted out on the enrollment form or by replying ‘Stop’ will be greyed out and not selectable.
4. After adding your contacts compose your message and click ‘Preview Message’.
5. Confirm your message and recipients on the preview screen.
6. Sent messages and recipients are available on the Sent page.
The Sent tab contains details about all messages sent via SMS Alerts, including:
- Which user sent the message
- When they sent the message
- Who the message was sent to
- Whether the message was successfully received
- The contents of the message