We are thrilled to introduce our school community to BrightArrow!
BrightArrow is a unified communications platform that allows schools and districts to share a wealth of information with their communities. Brightarrow is revolutionizing the way organizations automatically deliver messages simultaneously to large groups of people. It delivers voice messages, emails, text messages, social media posts and push notifications seamlessly in a single action. Schools and districts can share a wealth of information with their communities using BrightArrow. Its automated notification service is designed for emergency notifications, attendance calls, two-way messages, informational communications and a variety of other school-related alerts and messages. With extensive product development and state-of-the-art voice and messaging technology, BrightArrow delivers one of the most flexible and powerful notification systems available anywhere.
BrightArrow will keep parents and students informed allowing for greater engagement and connections with our school communities. All families with a student enrolled will automatically receive school news, information, updates and emergency notifications, as long as you have an accurate email and phone number. If any of your contact information changes at any time, please contact the school so it can be updated in our database.
How our school district and schools use BrightArrow:
To enhance communication between the school and parents, your school is instituting (or expanding upon) a telephone, email, text, and social media message communication system that enables school personnel to notify all households and parents by telephone, email, or app alerts within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event. It also may be used from time-to-time to communicate general announcements or reminders. The system includes mechanisms for parents to provide feedback, both informational and critically urgent, to school personnel. The type of communication will depend on the type of situation. These communications can be sent by the school’s administration, your student’s teachers, or other staff as appropriate. Since the communication can come to you in
numerous forms, below are some general guidelines for receiving and responding to the communications.
Communication mechanisms available:
- Text Messages
- Voice Calls
- Social Media Posts
- Text-in/Dial-in Tip Line
- Two-Way Communication Web Link
- Parent Portal
The school will send emails to parents either standalone or in conjunction with voice calls or text messages. Emails can give you more detail than what can be in a short call or message, and can include attachments and graphics when appropriate. You can reply to the email unless it is sent using a “DoNotReply” email address. If it is from a teacher, typically you can reply to it. School-wide emails sometimes are designed for outgoing information purposes only.
The BrightArrow system also allows school personnel to send parents text messages. The text messages will be coming from a phone number 87569, so please be aware that those text messages are coming from your school. Sometimes a message will arrive in all three forms (email, text, voice) so if you want to limit the number of different types of messages we suggest you click on the Parent Portal link and choose what types of messages you would like to receive.
The first time you receive a text message from your school, you will also receive, as a separate text, an invite to continue receiving text messages. It is important that you reply the word YES to that text message. If you do not reply to it, you will not receive further text messages.
If later you decide you want to start receiving text messages, you can always send the word YES to the number 87569.
For the most urgent or important messages, voice calls will be sent. If you do not answer the call immediately and see the school’s phone number showing as Caller ID, please listen to the voicemail it leaves rather than calling the school back. The message is typically sent to all parents at once and calling the school back can overload the school personnel.
Social Media Posts
If you go to the school’s Facebook page or receive Twitter tweets, the above messages may also be sent to you by app alerts from Facebook or Twitter.
Text-in/Dial-in Tip Line
Most of the communications described up to now are messages being sent from the school to parents. If parents or students have important urgent information or tip line feedback for the school, they can either reach out to their teacher directly or text or call into the school’s automated tip line. The phone number will be provided in a subsequent communication. The tip line can be used for any issue of immediate concern, such as bullying incidents or other serious issues.
Two-Way Communication Web Link
Your school may also set up a two-way web-based communication tool. This allows parents to ask questions, make suggestions, or raise concerns regarding any topic they deem appropriate. The BrightArrow system lets them choose the topic so the communication is directed to the appropriate person in the school’s administration. The school employee will then respond to the question or forward it to the appropriate person to respond, and the response is automatically delivered via email back to the originating parent. The response can also ask for clarification or details; the stream of communication is logged and tracked accordingly to ensure complete and timely responses to parent questions and concerns.
In addition to the two-way communication web link, the school will be providing you a Parent Portal link. This allows you to securely login and adjust how you would like to receive messages. The system automatically populates your telephones and emails from your student information system records, and you can use this portal to designate which phones you would like to use to receive texts or voice calls. You can enter additional phones or email addresses. The Parent Portal also gives you access to any prior voice calls, text messages, and emails that had been sent to you.
Special Guidance When Receiving Voice Calls
When phone calls are made, the BrightArrow service simultaneously calls all the phone numbers in the school’s parent contact database. It delivers the message if answered live or sent to voicemail. Unanswered calls and calls that receive busy signals will be
automatically retried twice after the initial call.
Here is some specific information you should know:
- Caller ID, The Caller ID will display the school’s main phone number.
- Live Answers: Please answer your phone as you normally would by saying “Hello” (or equivalent) immediately, and stay quiet. The message should start playing right away.
- Answering Machines or Voicemails: The system will detect that your voicemail has answered and will play the recording to your machine.
- Message Repeat: At any time during the message you may press the Star key on your telephone to repeat the message in its entirety.
BrightArrow uses the best available technology in the industry to detect the difference between human answer and machine answer.
How the detection works:
The system calls your phone and starts speaking immediately when you answer.
By listening while it is speaking, the system decides whether it thinks it has reached a live person or voice mail. So that it thinks you are a live person, you simply say “Hello” or an equivalent response when you answer, and then be quiet to hear the message.
If it is not sure whether it reached a live person or voice mail, the system must allow for the possibility that it might be voice mail, so it stops the audio upon hearing sounds and starts it up again upon hearing silence – that way it will reliably leave a full message on a voicemail or answering machine.
Some reasons for false detection, causing the system to stop and repeat:
Loud background noise, television, radio, ringback tones, or a noisy environment.
Not saying hello, delaying saying hello, saying hello more than once, or talking while the system is speaking to you.
Answering your phone in speakerphone mode (we highly suggest you not do that unless you have the phone muted).
What can be done to remedy this?
Say Hello immediately and then be silent, and do not say Hello more than once.
If, after you answer, the message stops and restarts repeatedly, you can mute your telephone or cover its microphone to cut out all background noise.
Alternatively, you can press the Star key and the message will replay from the beginning without further repeating.