Parents/guardians: Did you receive the SchoolMessenger “test” alerts?

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, an automated email, text message and phone call was sent to parents and guardians via the district’s SchoolMessenger notification system. The automated messages were sent to all parents and guardians using the contact information that they have on file with the district.

The purpose of this test is to ensure that our families are receiving important notifications, whether it’s a message from the school or a time-sensitive alert. As winter approaches, it is especially important for parents and guardians to have their correct information on file in the case of delayed openings, early dismissals and/or cancellations.

What to do if you did not receive the alerts

There are many layers to receiving notifications via SchoolMessenger, the most important being that your contact information is correctly listed in SchoolTool, the district’s student management system.

How do I verify that my contact information is correct with the district?

Parents and guardians can verify their contact information by logging into their Parent Portal/SchoolTool account.

It is important to note that when a message is sent via the SchoolMessenger Notification System, the contact information is “pulled” from SchoolTool – it does not have its own “list” that can be managed separately. That’s why it is vital to ensure your contact information is correct with the district.

My contact information is correct, but I didn’t receive the alerts. Why?

It can be for a number of reasons:

1. You didn’t set up an InfoCenter account

Or you need to log in and update your account.

Parents and guardians should create an InfoCenter account in order to choose the type of messages they’d like to receive. At this time, the district offers weather alerts, emergency alerts and general alerts via phone, text and email.

If there is a school closing, delay, etc., it will be sent via the weather alert. If you did not subscribe to the weather alert via your InfoCenter account, you may not receive a notification.

How to create an infoCenter Account

Using the email address you have on file with the district:

  • Either download the InfoCenter by SchoolMessenger App on your smartphone or visit www.infocenter.schoolmessenger.com.
  • Click the New User button, enter your email address and create a password. You will be emailed a secure token.
  • After authenticating via the token sent to your email, return to InfoCenter and sign in using your email and password.

Once set up, you’ll be able to select what alerts you’d like to receive and how you’d like to receive them.

2. You didn’t subscribe to receive text messages

SchoolMessenger needs permission in order to send texts to users. If your contact information is correct in SchoolTool and the appropriate text alerts are selected in InfoCenter, then this may be the issue.

To receive text messages, text Y to 67587 to subscribe. This may solve the issue since user consent is needed for SMS messaging. You should receive a message back confirming you are subscribed.

3. Your email or phone number is blocked

Sometimes users accidentally unsubscribe of block SchoolMessenger and will then stop receiving emails and texts. If your contact information is correct in SchoolTool and the appropriate alerts are selected in InfoCenter, this may be the case. Please email christina.gore@gcsny.org to verify.

    I am a district employee with a child in the district. Does it matter if I received the “test” messages on Dec. 1?

    Yes. Although weather-related alerts will be sent to both employees and parents/guardians, there are times when messages are specific to one group or the other.

    SchoolMessenger pulls parent and guardian contact information from School Tool, while it pulls employee contact information from WinCap, our employee database.

    You may need to set up two separate InfoCenter accounts: one with your employee contact information, and one with your parent/guardian contact information. Please see above for information about InfoCenter.

    I received the test alerts, but my child’s other parent/guardian didn’t. Why?

    Each parent/guardian who would like to receive SchoolMessenger alerts must:

    1. Have their correct contact information on file with the district in School Tool, AND
    2. Create his or her own InfoCenter account.

    Please see above for information.

    I received all the alerts – but I don’t want them all! Am I able to get just a phone call or just a text?

    Yes! A common complaint is that several alerts are received during a weather event. The district will send a notification via a home phone call, a cell phone call, a text message and an email. We do this in order to accommodate all of our parents, guardians and employees.

    If you would like to eliminate some of the winter weather alerts (for example, only receiving a text message), then log into your InfoCenter and choose the type of alerts you’d like to receive.

    Please keep in mind that each parent/guardian will need to manage his/her own separate InfoCenter account.

    How else are we notified about school closings and delays?

    Notices from inclement weather will be shared on the district website, the weather phone number 845-294-2400, and local radio stations. It’s important to rely on multiple channels in case of power outages, system failures or other incidents beyond the district’s control.

    How can I find more details about SchoolMessenger?

    Visit www.gcsny.org/schoolmessenger for information or email christina.gore@gcsny.org.