Blackboard Mass Messenger FAQ
The below questions and answers pertain to the District's new Blackboard Mass Messenger System. If you have any questions about the system not covered below, please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Blackboard Mass Messenger?
Blackboard Mass Messenger, is a messaging system that allows school and district administrators to send messages to staff, parents, students, and community members using any combination of: phone (AKA Robo Calls), email, text message, post to facebook, post to Twitter and post to website alert. Messenger also sends automated attendance and negative lunch balance messages. Blackboard Mass Messenger has replaced School Messenger.
What happened to School Messenger?
Last year, we redesigned the District and school websites and migrated them to a Blackboard Content Management System called Web Community Manager. We then investigated other Blackboard products that could integrate with the website and give schools more tools to communicate with staff, parents, and the community more effectively. Our contract with school messenger ended in August 2017, therefore, the timing worked well for the District.
What type of automated messages does this system send?
Blackboard Mass Messenger sends automated attendance messages for absences, tardies, and negative lunch balance messages. Absences are sent from all schools, tardies from the middle and high schools and negative lunch balance calls from Nutrition Services. To stop daily negative lunch balance calls, please make a deposit into your child's lunch account via RevTrak.
How does Blackboard Mass Messenger obtain parent, student, and family data?
Mass Messenger gets all of its data directly from MISTAR on a daily basis. Therefore, all of the contact information, student attendance, and lunch balance information that is in MISTAR is transferred to Blackboard. If information is incorrect in Blackboard, it is because the information is incorrect in MISTAR. To fix incorrect information, please log into the MISTAR Parent Portal and update your phone number and email address. If you have other changes, please contact your child(ren)'s school.
Why do I get calls/texts on multiple phones?
Blackboard Messenger calls/texts all numbers listed under all the primary contacts in MISTAR. Emergency contacts in MISTAR are not called.
Can I opt-out of phone calls, text messages, or emails?
While we DO NOT recommend it, you do have the ability to opt-out of non-emergency phone messages, all text messages, and all emails. Non-emergency phone messages are categorized as messages not related to student safety. You MAY NOT opt out of emergency phone messages. This is for the benefit of your child. Emergency message examples are: school closures, early releases, evacuations, etc. (Note: Automated Attendance calls are considered emergency messages as they pertain to student safety and therefore, cannot be opted out of).
How do I opt out of text, email, or phone messages?
For phone messages, please listen to the entire message. At the end of the message, follow the prompts to opt-out or call the Blackboard Phone Hotline at "855-502-STOP (855-502-7867). For email messages, there will be a link at the bottom of the email to unsubscribe. For text messages, you can simply reply to the text message with the word "STOP".
How do I opt back into text, email or phone messages?
There are several reasons you may have opted out of messages. Regardless of the reason, you CAN opt back into messages. To opt back into phone messages, call the Blackboard Phone Hotline at "855-502-STOP (855-502-7867)" from the phone line that has been opted out. To opt back into text messages, Text the word "START" to "60680" from the phone line that has been opted out for non-emergency messages. Text the word "START" to "54968" for emergency messages. To opt back into email messages, please email email@example.com and request to be opted back into Black Board Messenger emails.
Is there a way to make these calls and texts from the District say they are from Farmington Public Schools?
Yes! Create a new contact in your contacts on your mobile device, called Farmington Public Schools and add the phone number 248-489-3700 and text numbers 60680 & 54968. Going forward any texts or calls you receive from the District will show as "Farmington Public Schools". (Note: You may also want to add a contact for each of your child(ren)s school phone numbers with the school name as well. Phone messages from the school will come from the main school phone number. Text messages will always come from one of the two numbers listed above).
I am receiving calls/messages, but I do not have any children in Farmington Public Schools how can I stop these?
Most times when this occurs, it is a work phone number and the parent no longer works at that company, or it is a home or cell phone number that was given up and reassigned to a new person. If you are having this issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, provide the phone number and ask for the number to be removed.