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How do I send automated announcements to families?
How do I send automated announcements to families?

Automated attendance notifications

Migui Franco avatar
Written by Migui Franco
Updated this week

SchoolStatus Connect allows you to send automatic messages to individual families, based on data from your student information system. Connect's automated announcements are great for attendance notices, truancy, honor roll, lunch balance, overdue books and anything else you’d want to automate! Sending automated messages not only saves you time, but also ensures that messages are sent consistently and efficiently.

There are three steps to set up automated announcements:

  1. Create an Announcement Template

  2. Reach out to Customer Support to set up an Automation

  3. Send an Audience File to Connect

You can set up as many Automated Announcements as you like.

1. Create an Announcement Template

Go to the Create Announcement page, click on Templates, and create a new Personal template. This is the message that will be sent as an automated announcement. The title of your announcement will be needed for Step 2.

Please note:

  • If Comments are enabled in the announcement template, guardians will be able to comment on these announcements. Comments will be visible to the sender and all recipients of the announcement, which may not be optimal for your organization.

2. Set up an Automation

Contact Connect support at connectsupport@schoolstatus.com to set up an automation. Include the following information:

  • Subject Line: Automated Message Setup

  • Name (title) of the Announcement Template you’d like to automate

  • The name of the file you intend to use for the audience file (recipients)

  • Name and email of the user who's going to be the announcement sender

  • Which school or district this automated announcement belongs to

Please note:

  • Attendance notifications may be sent as district- or school-level announcements. If you prefer sending them from the school level, please send us several distinct files (one file per school), and tell us who should be the sender in each case.

  • Automation setup can take up to 24 hours to be established. You will need to plan ahead for your first automation of each individual message.

3. Send an Audience File

Every time you send an audience file to the SFTP folder, the message will be sent within 10 minutes to the recipients included in the file. Please remember to use the file name associated with the automation every time. Your CSM can remind you of the SFTP folder and credentials where you will send this file.

Audience File Format

Make sure that the column with student IDs is named studentSisId. It is case-sensitive. Please see the sample format below, and remember to name the file exactly as you determined in Step 2.

The audience file should be a CSV file with UTF-8 encoding.

Please note:

  • Values in the file cells may be wrapped with double quotes

  • The Audience File does not accept any additional fields

  • The announcement template does not support attribute/merge fields

  • The file is automatically removed from the folder as soon as it is processed

If you want to set up automated announcements with merge fields, please refer to this guide.


F.A.Q.

Who can access this feature?

  • Automated announcements are only available to SchoolStatus Connect customers. Learn more.

Should the sender be an actual SchoolStatus Connect user?

  • The sender should be a SchoolStatus Connect user with sufficient permissions. For school-level automated announcements, the user must have the School-Wide Communications permission. For district-level announcements, he must be a district admin, not staff. Learn more about permissions in this article.

Should we have access to the sender's email inbox?

  • Having access to the sender's email inbox is not required. A SchoolStatus Connect user can be a sender even if he has never logged into the platform. If that's your case, please make sure you turn off the Email Replies setting in announcement template.

Can the same template be used for multiple automated announcements?

  • Yes, any number of automated announcements may use the same template. But if the template is school-specific (e.g., it may include a school name in its title), it makes sense to create different templates for different schools.

If these notifications should come from the school level, should we create announcement templates under each school?

  • Announcement templates belong to a user, not a school. An automated announcement can use anyone's template, meaning that a district staff member may create templates for all schools in the district, or a school staff member may create a personal template that will be used for a district-level automated announcement.

Should the sender be the one who creates announcement templates?

  • No, the sender doesn't have to be the one who creates announcement templates for automated announcements. Any user can create templates that are applicable to automated announcements.

Which of the announcement settings can be applied to automated announcements?

  • Automated announcements use the Email Replies, Comments, Priority Announcements and Voice Broadcast settings from the announcement template. They can never be sent as Public Broadcast.

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