Student Absence Notification to Parents

Overview

Schools often contract with a service provider to contact parents when their child has not shown up for school, or missed one or more classes in the day. This service provider is typically a company that provided automated voice dialing, although they may recently have supplemented that with text message or email notifications. Automated voice dialing eliminated the need to have school staff make phone calls themselves.

In recent years, there have been major changes that suggest a review of the technology used for this purpose:

1)    Parents often no longer have a home phone, and they change cell phone numbers more frequently.

2)    The new generation of parents is less likely to check (or even have) voice mail, and prefer, and is more likely to respond to, text messages.

3)    Schools are communicating more and more with push notifications to a smartphone app.

4)    It is now much simpler and less expensive to send text messages and voice messages, due to a new generation of cloud-based services such as twilio.com. The investment in banks of telephone equipment made by legacy voice dialing service providers is no longer necessary.

Now it is no longer necessary to have a separate system for notifying parents when their children have not shown up for school since that capability can be included in your school mobile apps. Parents who do not have iOS or Android devices can sign up for text message or email notifications.

 

Integrated Dashboard

The Absence Notifications feature is fully integrated with existing App/Digital Signage, so school staff can use their familiar Data Import and Notifications screens and District Single Sign On.

 

Features

Student Information System Compatibility

The App Dashboard accepts uploads of an attendance file and an optional parent contacts file.

Push/SMS Text/Email

System will deliver messages according to each parent’s preferred technology.

Verified Phone Numbers

Linking of SIS parent phone numbers to app accounts will be done with SMS-verification of phone numbers entered in app.

Verified Email Addresses

Linking of SIS parent email addresses to app accounts will be done with verification of email addresses entered in app.

Multilingual Messaging

Each parent will receive each message according to their language preference. (A message text template in each language is required.)

Message Fields

Each notification sent will include: student name, date, periods absent.

Scheduling

Messages can be sent at a scheduled time after the attendance file has been imported (e.g. 6:30pm).

Scheduled Message Management

Scheduled messages can be cancelled, viewed, or modified.

Do-Not-Call

Phone numbers and email addresses can be blocked by administrators or users.

Reporting

The App Dashboard includes Absence Notification Reports that shows what notifications were sent each day, by school, or parent/student.

Parent Access

Parents can use the app to change their absence notification preferences and view current and past notifications.


Absence Notifications & App Accounts

If an email address in the SIS export matches a verified email address in the Appazur database, the notification will be sent to the Appazur user account according to the user’s preferences.

If a phone number in the SIS export matches a verified mobile phone number in the Appazur database, the notification will be sent to the Appazur user account according to the user’s preferences.

If neither the email address nor the phone number in the SIS export matches a verified account in the Appazur database:

·       An account will be created,

·       By default, this account will not receive other app notifications,

·       Absence notification will be sent, along with an invitation to subscribe to app notifications or install the app. There will also be an option to block further notifications.

 

Infrastructure

Our enterprise-quality messaging system, in concert with industry-leading cloud services, reliably delivers millions of scheduled notifications.

Voice & SMS – Twilio

Twilio is the leading global cloud communications platform used by companies like Netflix and Nordstrom, that allows developers like Appazur to embed voice, messaging, video and authentication capabilities into their software, paying for infrastructure only as needed.

Email – Mailgun

Mailgun is a high volume service for maximizing successful delivery of transactional email, used by major companies such as Lyft and Shopify.