We have a new way to stay in touch with you. Starting May 1, 2017, the school division will begin sending text messages to mobile phones in order to share information about school closings, major school events and important news. Over the past few weeks, schools have distributed contact forms to ensure we have the right numbers on file. If you did not get a form, and would like to get text messages, please stop by your child’s school office and complete one. If you do not want to receive text messages, you can “opt-opt.” All you have to do is text the word “NO” to our school division’s special code. That code is 67587. If you need help signing up or opting-out, please contact your child’s school office.
You may have questions about this new feature, so we have compiled a list of answers.
How do I sign up for text messages?
Option 1 – Complete a Contact Information Form in your child’s school office. Or, find the form here: Contact Information Form (for text message alerts and other PPS notifications)
Return it to your child’s school office.
Option 2 – If your mobile phone number is already in our robocall system, text “Y” for “yes” to our school division’s short code: 67587. You will then receive a reply that confirms you have opted into the text message system. If you don’t get a reply message, or if your number is not on file, contact your child’s school office.
What if parents don’t want to receive text messages?
Simply text the word “NO” to the school division’s special “short code,” which is 67587 and that will prevent you from getting PPS text messages.
On May 1, all mobile numbers in our robocall system will receive a “Welcome Message” about text messages. At that time, you can “opt-out” by replying with “STOP.”
All future text messages, will also give parents an opportunity to reply “N” if they want to opt-out at a later date.
Or, you can contact your child’s school office and ask to be removed from the text message list.
**If you opt-out of text messages, you will still be able to receive robocalls about important school information.**
Will I be charged for this?
Portsmouth Public Schools will not charge recipients for the text messages and neither does our communication system (SchoolMessenger). However, wireless providers may charge for individual text messages, depending on the plan associated with the wireless device. Please consult your wireless carrier if you are uncertain.
How many numbers can I have on file?
Two for now. We hope to add more in the future.
How often will I receive texts?
For now, we will send text messages for divisionwide information and events. Individual schools will begin sending important text messages when the new school year begins.
More questions? Contact your child’s school office.
More Information About SchoolMessenger
On Dec. 5, 2016, Portsmouth Public Schools launched SchoolMessenger, a parent and staff telephone notification system, as part of the division's efforts to communicate more effectively with our learning community.
School administrators will continue to have the ability to either go online or make one simple phone call to reach all parents or guardians in minutes. School principals and administrators use SchoolMessenger to periodically connect with parents on issues related to inclement weather, emergency situations, school events, testing dates, and conference reminders. In the near future, we'll be using the automated system nightly to notify parents of all student absences.
SchoolMessenger also allows our division administrators to reach parents immediately in the event of a division or school-wide emergency. The mass telephone communication system can deliver up to 30,000 phone messages within minutes, ensuring that our parents and staff quickly know what's going on in the case of an emergency. For this reason it is imperative that your school have your up-to-date contact information on file at all times in order for you to reliably receive these messages. If you change your home, work, or cell phone number, move, or change jobs, please be sure to provide your child's school with the new contact information so you won't miss an important message.