HELMETTA, MILLTOWN, SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood School District is once again switching the district's alert system. The district changed from Honeywell to Sangha last summer, but decided after receiving feedback from staff, parents and the community that a switch was needed. Many parents experienced difficulty throughout the 2018-19 school year with information dissemination. As a result, the district will now be implementing School Messenger.
School Messenger is a communication system powered by West Education Group and is a component of West Corporation with houses offices in California and Canada. The system is used in educational districts throughout all 50 states and in Canada. It first began being used by school districts in 1999 and works similarly to Honeywell, keeping educational communities informed through emails, texts and automated telephone calls. School Messenger also uses a downloadable app for smartphones and will connect to the district's Genesis Parent Portal. Spotswood School District parents were alerted to the change through a series of emails.
Parents must choose to opt into text messaging option of the system because of new federal regulations regarding mass communications. Spotswood School District parents and guardians can immediately opt into the texting option by following the directions on an informational flyer from School Messenger. Another choice is to wait until Monday, August 19. School Messenger will be sending out text messages in the afternoon on Monday to cell phone numbers connected with student's accounts in Genesis. Responding to the text message will automatically connect parents and guardians to the text option within School Messenger. Standard text messaging rates will apply to all texts sent through School Messenger.
The new communication system and its text messaging option will also be explained during each of the upcoming Back-to-School Nights for the district. Parents will receive information on how to opt in. Parents can receive assistance too by contacting the IT department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents and guardians will have the ability to update their contact information through Genesis as the need arises. It will take 24 hours for updates to be complete though the School Messenger system. For information on how to update contact information on Genesis, parents and guardians can use an online tutorial.
The upcoming Back-to-School Nights for the Spotswood School District are:
- Memorial Middle School - Wednesday, September 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Appleby School - Thursday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m.
- Schoenly School - Monday, September 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Spotswood High School - Thursday, September 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.