5 ways SMS helps schools, teachers and parents stay in touch

Forget scrunched-up notes in the bottom of school bags. Or emails buried in parents’ inboxes. The best way to get important messages out to parents and students is via SMS.

Amanda R - March 30, 2023

Teachers today have a lot on their plates. School administrators are super busy, too, and are often dealing with tight budgets. Anything your school can do to lighten the load on teachers and admin staff is a win-win.

One thing that weighs them down? Communicating with students and parents. It takes time and effort, and it’s not always guaranteed to work.

It’s why leading schools use SMS. Text messaging is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to stay in touch with the school community.

With SMS, teachers no longer have to race to the office photocopier before the final bell to print out a note for the kids to take home. Admin staff aren’t left wondering if the notice they pinned up on the hallway noticeboard was seen by any parents. And families aren’t left in the dark about important school news and events. 

The best bit? With a near-perfect SMS open rate of 98%, you know your message will be seen. 

Let’s take a look at the most popular ways that schools use SMS to connect with parents, students and even teachers.

1. Where is your child?

Give everyone peace of mind by sending a quick text to parents if a child isn’t present at roll call. If you use a dedicated mobile number, parents can easily respond via text, too, explaining why their child is away and helping your admin team stay on top of absences.

Then there’s this. If students know their parents will be notified about any absences, they’ll be less likely to wag or be late to school.

Absent student text message example
Our records show [STUDENT] is not at school today. Please respond with a reason for [PRONOUN] absence, or call the office on [NUMBER].

2. Show me the money

Like we said above, many schools operate on shoestring budgets. So anything you can do to prompt parents to pay their bills will help balance the books.

From excursions to swimming lessons, to voluntary contributions and compulsory fees, a quick SMS reminder may give parents the nudge they need to pay you.

Example of SNS payment reminder for student fees
Hi [PARENT], friendly reminder that you owe [AMOUNT] for [STUDENT]’s swimming lessons. Please pay by [DATE] so [PRONOUN] can participate.

3. This is not a drill

If your school had to close suddenly in an emergency, how would you get in touch with all families at once? Say there’s a severe weather event, or an outbreak of a contagious disease. You need to let parents know, pronto, so they can make other arrangements for their kids.

With such a high open rate, SMS is the fastest and easiest way to send emergency alerts out to parents.

Text message example for emergency school closure
[SCHOOL NAME] will be closed today, [DATE], due to [REASON]. Please do not send your children to school today. Watch out for further updates as the situation changes.

4. Not for the newsletter

Want to let parents know about something, but don’t want to wait until the next school newsletter goes out? Send a quick SMS with helpful links to more information, where appropriate.

SMS example for school canteen menu
[EXAMPLE] Canteen update: Due to national shortages, there will be no hot chips on the menu this week. See latest menu: [URL]

5. Teachers in the loop

Create a separate SMS database with all your teachers’ mobile numbers in it, so you can easily send alerts and updates to them, too. This way, if you’ve got an important message and they’re out on the oval with the children, they’re more likely to see it.

Text message example for teacher meeting update
Hi teachers, reminder that today’s staff meeting has been cancelled due to [REASON]. See you [DATE] instead.

Ready to embrace SMS for school communication?

Get started for free

Get started with our cost-effective, easy-to-use text messaging platform today.