Mass Texting for Schools

Text messaging helps staff stay in touch with students, parents, and administration during a time of emergency. Relay event reminders, closings/cancellations, and last minute updates.

school texting, texting for schools

Why rely on flyers, phone calls, or even email to send out mass alerts to the student body? Hundreds of colleges, high schools, and other educational institutions nationwide use our texting service to send out mass, informative notifications. From emergency alerts and reminders, to closings and cancellations, mass text messaging is the best way to communicate with thousands of students at the click of a button.

How Text Messaging Works for Schools

The Keyword

First things first, pick a unique keyword that represents your institution. Interested parties will text this keyword to a five or six digit short code to join your communications list.

For example, let's say you manage all on campus communication for Duke University. You would want to reserve the keyword DUKE, and then ask students to text DUKE to 31996. This will sign them up for campuswide alerts and reminders. It's as simple as that.

The Auto Reply

This automated text message confirms the list subscription. It's sent to new opt ins, immediately after they text your keyword to the desired shortcode. Your auto reply might look a bit like this.


Thanks for joining the Duke University text list! Expect to receive campus alerts, event reminders, emergency notifications and more.

The Message

With text messaging for schools, your main goal is to keep the general public informed. In these regular messages, you may include safety updates, information about upcoming events, and more. Text messaging helps you communicate with the entire student body quickly and efficiently. Don't abuse this privilege by texting students ten times a week. Instead, focus on the need to know information.

Example Scenario

East Village Elementary is located in a small town in Massachusetts. One of the best schools in the Eastern United States, they're known for their vast array of extracurriculars. They bring the local community together with sports, arts, music, events, and more.

One of the biggest challenges they face? Keeping parents informed. Teachers send home flyers, but unfortunately, they usually never make it out of the child's backpack. They tried doing a phone tree, but the list is just too large, and the messages get lost in translation.

Lately, Principal Johnson has been receiving a great deal of complaints. Parents are frustrated that they're missing important events. They feel out of the loop, and want to be involved in their child's activities. For example, this year's open house only had half the turnout. The ones who didn't show claimed they never knew it was happening, and this caused a great deal of frustration.

Principal Johnson feels awful, but he's struggling to come up with ideas. His secretary suggests text messaging. Her daughter is a college student, and they use this for campus communication. Johnson quickly agrees. The East Village Elementary list grows quickly, as parents want a solution to feeling out of the loop. The following year, not one parent misses the open house.

How Can SMS Help Your School?

It goes without saying, in a state of campus wide emergency, the speed and deliverability of SMS could easily save lives. If there is an on campus threat, students can quickly be given life-saving direction.

Outside of emergency situations, this communication method also creates a sense of campuswide comradery. Increase attendance at football games, promote charity events, distribute concert information, and more. To take it a step further, you can even engage with parents and give them a voice using tools such as texting surveys. This will allow you to send surveys and questions out to parents and allow them to responde with feedback. A very popular tool used by schools and universities.

Why Choose Texting?

Out of all other communication solutions, what makes texting perfect for schools?

  • Everyone receives texts.
  • Over 90% of all text messages are opened within the first five minutes.
  • The average American looks at their phone more than 150 times a day.
  • At just pennies per text, it's incredibly cost effective.

What can we gather from this data? Texting is a popular modern communication method, that's also affordable and easy to use. Everyone texts, and schools must take advantage of this popularity. If you text information to students, parents, and staff, you can rest assured they will read and engage.

How to Get Started

1. Select a Keyword

Stick as close to your school name as possible. For example, if you're the principal at St. Mary's School for Children, reserve STMARYS. Keep it simple, but also make sure it's unique to your institution. If it's easy to type and remember, you're in the clear.

This same institution should stray away from something generic like SCHOOL, but also avoid getting too specific and detailed with STMARYSSCHOOLFORCHILDREN. The latter could cause a bunch of misspellings and failed opt ins.

2. Write Your Auto Reply

Your auto reply should confirm their subscription to your communications list. You can also include any important information; such as how to reach the school front office. This is the first text your opt ins will receive, so make sure it's simple, easy to read, and informative.

3. Inform the Student Body

Remember, this must be promoted as a communication tool. Especially for parents of younger students, this might be the quickest and most efficient way to receive alerts, updates, or announcements.

  • Make an announcement on the morning PA.
  • Send out a campus wide email.
  • Share opt in details on social media.
  • Post flyers in the hallways on campus.
  • Send out an email invite.

4. Regularly Stay in Touch

At the bare minimum, fire out a text message once a month linking to a digital newsletter. We don't recommend blowing up your subscribers for every band concert, basketball game, and debate club meet. Instead, consolidate your information, and present it in an organized way.

Sample Mass Text Ideas for Schools

Emergency Notifications

In an emergency situation, time is of the essence. Fire out an emergency alert in a matter of seconds. With mass text messaging for schools, you can prioritize the safety of the student body.

Emergency Alert: There's a fire in the East Building. Evacuate the campus immediately via the North Entrance.

Event Reminders

Flyers are totally old school. Fire out text message reminders that inform the student body about regular events and requirements for attendance.

It's Homecoming Weekend! The dance begins at 8PM on Friday. Please bring your student ID. Any students who don't bring identification will not be permitted to enter.


Who doesn't love a snow day? Send out mass closing and cancellation notifications via text message. This helps keep everyone in the know, and prevent any travel hazards.

Due to the severe snowstorm warning, all classes and after school activities will be cancelled today. The regular schedule will resume tomorrow.

Helpful Texting Resources for Schools

Before you get started, consume some of these helpful resources about text messaging for schools. Learn how you can get the most out of our service, and what types of messages will give list members the best texting experience.

Final Thoughts

Use text messaging to keep students, parents, and administrative staff informed. Especially in a time of emergency, this instantaneous option could save lives. Firing out an email, or waiting on a phone tree to process, could take a situation from severe to deadly.

Keep everyone safe and informed. Hop on the text messaging bandwagon and sign up for your free plan today.

P.S. Not ready to sign up? Give us a call at 1.800.688.6290 or shoot us an email. We'll walk you through the entire process, and give you personalized recommendations.

Start texting your student body today!

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