• Update on texting parents/guardians

    All principals and assistant principals

    As a result of recent legal rulings, schools are now permitted to send text messages to parents/guardians regarding emergency notifications and important school-related announcements without needing to obtain “opt-in” consent. Previously, schools had not been able to text without parent/guardian approval in advance.

    The district-provided Parent Link system used for mass voice-messaging (“robocalls”) can also be used for texting. Text messages will automatically be sent to all cellphone numbers school staff have entered into Infinite Campus, which provides the contact information for Parent Link. It is no longer necessary for staff to record text-messaging preference in Infinite Campus. Please note that texts sent to parents/guardians should be as brief as possible (aim for no more than 120 characters, including spaces) and must relate only to emergency notifications or to important school-related events, such as alerts about an unplanned early dismissal (e.g., due to a power failure or other school-level facilities issue) or to activities such as parent-teacher conferences.

    Text messages sent through Parent Link automatically include instructions for recipients to opt out of receiving subsequent texts; recipients who follow the instructions have their opt-out preference automatically recorded in Parent Link and will be blocked from receiving further texts. School staff responsible for Parent Link management should also ensure that they know how to opt a parent/guardian out of text messaging manually, should a request be made directly to the school.

    For assistance and training with Parent Link, which can be used for voice, text, and email messaging, please contact Gregg Ford at gford@bcps.k12.md.us or 443-642-3953 in the communications department.

    Click here for other items in October 20, 2016 Leadership Action Update.