FCPS Text Messaging for Parents and Students
For times when it is critical to notify FCPS parents as quickly as possible.
Parent cell phone numbers that are listed in the Student Information System (SIS) are automatically enrolled to receive text messages. Text messaging is an additional way to quickly and efficiently contact parents when your child’s school or district needs to notify you in cases of emergency, attendance, and essential communications related to your student(s) education. Note that the text messaging option is not meant to replace primary modes of communication (email, phone message, school website, or backpack letters).
Providing cell phone number to my child’s school
It is necessary to provide your cell phone number to your child’s school in order to receive text messages intended for parents.
- Complete the Emergency Care Form for your child every year and update when necessary.
- Parents can update through the SIS ParentVUE account
- Parents who do not have a SIS ParentVUE account continue to have the option to communicate updates to their student’s school via the normal paper process.
- Parents can print and complete a blank Emergency Care Information Form needed for updates and submit it to their student’s school.
- Parents who need a pre-populated form with student information printed during the summer can contact their school for support.
Confirming that your cell phone is subscribed to receive text messages
Send a text message to 67587 with the words “SUBSCRIBE”. You will receive a message from our vendor, SchoolMessenger, letting you know if the phone has been opted in for FCPS e-Notify notifications. It will appear on your cellphone as a message from "SchoolMessenger notifications". If you did not receive the proper reply message from SchoolMessenger notifications, check your emergency contact information online using Online Verification/Update (OVU), found in the SIS ParentVUE FCPS Links. Make sure the contact “cell telephone” numbers are listed in the correct field in the parent/guardian contact information section. You may also contact your child’s school office and review your parent contact cell numbers with the student information assistant.
NOTE: Text messaging is only available to parents who provide a cell phone number to the Student Information System (SIS) and to staff who provide a cell phone number through UConnect. Community members who don't have children enrolled in FCPS can subscribe to receive emergency closure information through News You Choose (email notification) or check Twitter, Facebook, Channel 21 or this web site for current alerts.
Stopping or discontinuing text messaging service
Reply to any text message from 67587 with the word “STOP”.
Charges for the texting service
Standard message and data charges may apply for text messages depending on your cell phone service plan. If you have questions relating to text charges, we suggest you contact your cell provider.
Recipients of text messages
Text messages from your child’s school intended for parents can only be sent to the parent/guardian cell phone numbers that you have authorized to be on file for your child. It is important to let your child’s school know of any changes to your cell phone numbers.
Senders of text messages
Text messages are sent by local school administrators who are authorized by your child’s principal to send essential communications to parents as well as select FCPS central office staff.
Types of messages
FCPS school and district office staff will send messages when there are emergencies, delays, school closings, or urgent local school incidents. Central offices will also contact you in special cases when your school may not be able to due to local school power, phone, or internet outages.
Transportation managers may text you if your child’s bus is expected to run more than 30 minutes late.
You may also receive targeted system messages about:
- Your child’s attendance if school has not heard from you before the morning attendance deadline or in the evening for middle and high school students.
- Low or negative lunch balance if your child’s school lunch account is falls below $10.
Examples of important reminders from your child’s school:
- Back to School Night reminder
- Open House reminder (start of school)
- Testing dates, reminders, updates
- Required immunizations, forms
- Required event reminder for course credit/grade to students in a particular class (e.g. performance arts or music)
- End of year library book return reminder for outstanding items
If you choose not to participate the schools and central offices will continue to send email messages primarily and occasionally voice messages, but in time sensitive situations you might not receive the communication as quickly as those who are opted in to receive text messages. We are adding text messaging as a method of reaching parents more quickly in urgent situations.
If you would like to stop the text service temporarily, e.g., you are going on vacation, you may opt-in and opt-out of the service as often as you like. Simply send a text to either 67587 with the word “STOP” or words “SUBSCRIBE” at any time to toggle the service on and off.
Some text messages may be sent in (Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese) when the translations are available and the length of the message allows. This also depends on the home correspondence language that is identified on your child’s contact record in the student information system.
Receiving too many non-essential messages but do not want to opt out of receiving important or timely notifications
If you experience this please contact your school principal and let him/her know.
Some parents may find it helpful to add “FCPS” to their cellphone contacts with the short code 67587 listed in the phone field so that you know that the texts you receive from this code are official FCPS messages from the district or your child’s school