Open School Messenger
Download our School Messenger Parent Guide
Download our School Messenger Parent Guide
School Messenger is a communication system that allows Northern Lights Public Schools, its schools, and teachers to share information with parents.
Using the contact information you have provided to your child’s school, the school division, your child’s school and your child’s teacher can send you automated phone messages, emails and text messages. This includes:
To receive messages, all you need to do is make sure your child’s school has your up-to-date contact information - phone numbers and email addresses. If you want to receive text messages, you will need to text Y to 978-338 to give your consent.
Please note that you cannot respond to text messages that are sent to you from the 978-338 number. If you receive a text message and wish to follow up, please call or email the teacher or school.
The School Messenger App allows parents to do four things:
You do not need to have a phone to use the School Messenger app. Everything that you can do on the app, you can also do on any computer or device that has Internet access.
NEW!!! You can now access School Messenger through the PowerSchool Parent Portal. Once you log in, click on the School Messenger icon on the left hand side and follow the instructions.
If you would prefer to log in to School Messenger directly, here are the instructions:
The Messages section displays all messages (voice, email, text and conversations) sent to you during the last 30 days. They are sorted in reverse chronological order.
Voice, email and text messages (Broadcast Messages) will appear with a title at the top, followed by the name of the sender and the type of message (lower right hand corner). A circle with your child’s name will appear in the lower left hand corner. If you have multiple children, this will indicate who the message is about - multiple circles indicate the message is applicable for more than one child.
Conversations (Teacher Messaging) sent by your child’s teacher will appear differently and will include a round icon with the teacher initials at the top of the message. Names of recipients will be underneath, followed by the message.
To make it easier to tell the difference between conversations and different types of messages, you can filter your messages. On your phone, you will click on the three lines that look like an inverted triangle in the upper right hand corner. Choose the type of messages you want to see and only those will appear on your screen.
To filter messages in your web browser, click on the inverted triangle next to the word all, and select the type of messages you want to see.
You can also filter your messages so you only see those that you have not already read. Simply choose Unread from the filter options.
The School Messenger app has recently been updated so that once you login, you are automatically part of groups associated with your child. You will be able to see all of these groups in the Join Groups section. You do not need a group code to join.
How do I have a conversation with my child’s teacher?
Parents cannot initiate conversations with teachers. Once you have logged in, your child’s teacher will see that you have registered with the app and will be able to start a conversation with you. Once they have sent you a message, you should be able to reply to that message by typing in the comments box and hitting send.
Please note that not all teachers may be using the app to have conversations with parents. Ask your child’s teacher if they are participating.
Schools/teachers may also create additional groups (ie for extracurricular activities) and may give you a group code to join those groups.
You may not be able to respond to all of the conversation messages that your teacher sends to you. For instance, if your teacher sends a message to a group of parents, they have the option to not allow comments, to allow everyone to see replies, or to allow only the teacher to see any replies. If the word PUBLIC appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the message, that means that everyone the message has been sent to will be able to see any comments that you enter.
To respond to a message, type your reply in the comments box and hit SEND.
All parents in Northern Lights Public Schools have the option to report their child's absence from school through School Messenger as part of the Safe Arrival system.
In the attendance section of the School Messenger app, parents can report an absence by:
You will receive confirmation that your absence has been submitted.
The preferences section allows you to indicate how you want to be contacted. Please note, you will have to have at least one phone number turned on for emergencies and one for attendance notifications.
At the top of the screen will be all of the contact phones numbers and email addresses you have provided to the school. If the icons on the left hand side are green, that means they are activated. If you click on a number, you will have the option to specify what type of messages you want to receive at that number and how - phone call or text. When something is highlighted in blue that means it is active.
Under My Message Preferences, you can click on each different type of message and select how many ways you want to be notified.
Please note that you cannot update or change your contact information in the app. If you want to remove or change an email address or phone number, you need to contact the administrative assistant at your child’s school to update your information in our database. It may take several hours for the update to sync with School Messenger.
If you want to receive notifications from the app, you will need to do two things:
We've been getting a lot of questions about School Messenger from parents and teachers. Here are answers to some of the most popular questions.
A: School Messenger does not allow for text message responses. Your teacher or school does not receive any messages sent to the 978-338 short code. If you receive a text message and wish to follow up, please contact your school or teacher directly with a phone call or email.
A: Once you have downloaded and registered for the app, you are automatically connected to your child's teacher in the group (Conversation) section of the app. You DO NOT need a group code to join a group. However, parents and students are unable to initiate messages with their teachers. Once your teacher has sent you a message, you will be able to reply and communicate with them through the app. If they have not sent you a message, they may not be using the app to communicate with parents or students. Please ask the teacher if they are using this communication method and ask that they send you a message so you can reply and send them messages when you need to.
A: You can change your message preferences in the School Messenger app in the Preferences section. You are required to provide one phone number (home phone or cell phone) for emergencies and one for attendance notifications. You can set your preferences based on the phone number or email address, or you can set it for difference types of messages. For instance, if you select attendance notifications, you can set it to text you only, or to call, text and email you. You can set General Messages separately to be email only or email and text or any combination you want. You can also indicate which email or phone number you want the messages sent to.
A: If you need to update your email address or phone number, you will need to contact the administrative assistant(s) at your child's school. They can update your information in our database. It may take several hours for the update to sync with School Messenger.
Please note, that if you make a change to your cell phone number and want to receive text messages, you will need to opt-in by texting Y to 978-338.
A: Recipients not wishing to receive text messages to a particular number can simply do one of the following:
A: Ensure that the school division has your correct device number in the database, and that it is located in the SMS phone field. It may take 24 hours for a number to become active after being changed or added to the division's system.
Send a text with "Y" from that device to the division short code (978-338). You should receive an opt-in confirmation message from the service.
If you want to receive texts on multiple devices, each device number must complete the Opt-In process.
Confirm the division has actually attempted to send a School Messenger SMS text message.
A: After you text one of the key words to the short code the system will ALWAYS respond back with one of three messages:
Any other response - or no response: indicates teh recipient should contact their wireless device provider to have SMS messaging/premium content enabled.
A: If you receive what appears to be an error message, similar to one of the following, it most likely means that short code text messaging is not enabled on your wireless subscription plan:
These replies DO NOT indicate that the wireless provider can't receive messages from SchoolMessenger. Rather, they are an indication that the specific mobile device does not have short code SMS texting enabled for that number (this is sometimes disabled by default on company provided cell phones). To address this, contact your wireless provider.
SchoolMessenger does not charge recipients for the text messages that they receive or send to the short code; however, wireless providers may charge for individual text messages, depending on the plan associated with the wireless device. Please consult your carrier if you are uncertain.
School Messenger is continually upgrading its products and introducing new features. Northern Lights Public Schools will inform parents when there are important upgrades made to the app or new features are added. Stay tuned!