Phone Communication

The Phone Communication feature allows teachers to create recorded messages, Text-to-Speech messages, and SMS text messages to send to Parent Contacts and/or Students.

Phone Communication

1. From the Students menu, click Phone Communication.

Phone Communication

2. Click the Drafts tab.

Phone Communication

3. Enter a Title.

4. Select the message Type from the pull-down. Options include SMS (text messages) and/or Phone Call.

5. If Caller ID has been set up from the Phone Numbers tab, select the Caller ID you'd like to use for the outgoing call. If additional Phone Numbers have not been set up, the Caller ID defaults to the Twilio Number enabled by the district via System Preferences. Note: This is applicable to Calls Only (Type: Phone Call).

6. Enter/Select the Scheduled Send Date in the provided text box. This is the earliest date that the message will be sent.

7. Enter/Select the Scheduled Send Time in the provided text box. This is the earliest time that the message will be sent.

8. Select how often the message will be sent from the Recurring pull-down. Options include:

N/A: This message will be sent one time.

Daily: This message will be scheduled to be sent at the same time set every day.

Weekly: This message will be scheduled to be sent at the same time every week (7 days apart).

Monthly: This message will be scheduled to be sent at the same time every month (30 Days apart).

Annually: This message will be scheduled to be sent at the same date and time every year.

a. If you've selected a Recurring option, enter the Recurring End Date to determine when the message should no longer be sent out.

9. Press the Enter key to save the message draft, which turns yellow once logged.

10. Click Save.

Click the delete button (red minus sign) to remove a draft.

Adding/Editing Messages

1. Click Edit Message to create/edit the message.

The Edit Message pop-up window displays information depending on the message Type enabled, SMS and/or Phone Call. In the image displayed, both options have been selected, so SMS and Phone Call features are displayed on their corresponding tabs.

Voice Recording

1. Click the Phone Call tab.

Phone Communication

2. Select Recorded as the Call Type to create a recorded message.

3. If recording your message, click Record and speak your message clearly. Note: You must ensure that the microphone on your computer has been enabled in your computer settings.

Click Finish Recording to stop the recording when complete.

There is a one minute time limit on recorded messages. If the recording has not been stopped by clicking Finish Recording before the one minute mark, the recording will automatically end. The Time Remaining feature displays the amount of time left to make the recording counting down from one minute.

There is a brief  pause before messages begin upon calls being answered by a person or by voicemail to ensure the entire message is recorded if sent to voicemail. Note: If a person answers the call, the message will begin once the person speaks as opposed to waiting 2-3 seconds.

4. Once recorded, click Play to review your message.

Phone Communication

Click Pause to pause the message.

Click Stop to stop the message from playing and go back to the beginning of the message.

Click Record at any time, to re-record you message.

Phone Communication

5. To use the Token Guide and insert variables into a recorded message, while recording, click Insert Data to place a Marker in the recording for where the variable should be placed.

Phone Communication

6. Once finished, you can see where in the message in the markers have been placed. Select the applicable Variable from the pull-down that should take the place for each Marker, such as Contact Full Name or Current Date.

7. Click Save.

See Testing Messages for more information on the Test button.

Text-To-Speech Phone Call

1. If using Text-To-Speech call type, enter the content that will be read to receipts as a phone call in the provided text box.

Phone Communication

There is a Text-To-Speech word limit set to 180 words. The number of words present is displayed out of of 180 words, such as 28/180 as displayed below.

2. You can enter free text as well as click the variables available in the Token Guide to insert changing information to be customized based on the receipt of the call, such as Date, Student's Full Name, Attendance Code (Attendance Only), etc. To use the variable, ensure your cursor/mouse is positioned in the correct place in the message, then click the variable to be added.

3. Click Save.

See Testing Messages for more information on the Test button.

SMS (Text Message)

1. Click the SMS tab.

Phone Communication

2. In the SMS (Text Message) text box, enter the content that will display in the message sent out.

There is a character indicator below the text box, which contains 50 characters per text message sent. The number displayed is the number of characters left in the current meesage out of 50 characters. In the example displayed, adding 29 additional characters will generate 2 text messages. Note: Newer mobile devices should receive the message as one text message.

Phone Communication

Once messages are sent, parents or students can reply TODAY to stop receiving messages for the rest of the day or reply UNSUBSCRIBE to never get messages again.

3. You can enter free text as well as click the variables available in the Token Guide to insert changing information to be customized based on the receipt of the message, such as Date, Student's Full Name, etc.

a. To use the variable, ensure your cursor/mouse is positioned in the correct place in the message, then click the variable to be added.

4. Click Save.

See Testing Messages for more information on the Test button.

Attaching Recipients

1. From the Drafts tab, click Attach Recipients.

2. Select the Contact Types that should receive the message using the corresponding check boxes. Options include:

Primary Contact Phone: Send to the phone number(s) of the 1st priority contact with a Custody flag value of "Y" and a Callout flag value of "Y" for each phone number.

Secondary Contact Phone: Send to the phone number(s) of the 2nd priority contact with a Callout flag value of "Y" for each phone number.

Student Phone: Send to the phone number of the student located on the Address block in Student Info.

You can select as many contact types as needed.

3a. Select the Sections from the pull-down for which the message applies.

3b. Click Student Search in order to specify the students who will receive the message, as opposed to sending the message to all students enrolled in Sections selected from the corresponding pull-down.

In order to conduct a Student Search, one of the following Contact Types must be selected: Primary Contact Phone, Secondary Contact Phone, or Student Phone.

a. Conduct a student search in the pop-up window. See Searching for Students for more information.

The Student Search is limited to the selected section (section pull-down in the header).

b. Select the check boxes next to the applicable students to specify the students who will receive the message. Then, click Import Selected Recipients.

The Imported Recipients display in the Add Recipients pop-up window which includes the Contact Type, Phone Number, Student Full Name, Contact Full Name, Created By, and Created At.

Click the delete button (red minus sign) to remove the imported recipient.

3c. If you do not want to select recipients by Sections or by Student Search, you can upload a file of recipients. Click Upload CSV to import recipients in the Import Options section. You must first prepare a CSV file including the following columns: Phone Number, Contact First Name, Contact Last Name, Student First Name, Student Last Name, Student Nickname, Possessive Pronoun, and Personal Pronoun.

a. Select the file from your computer. Click Open.

b. Use the pull-downs to associate the fields with the correct column headers in the file. If this CSV file includes a header row, ensure the Header check box is selected to prevent parsing the data in the first row.

c. Click Submit.

The Imported Recipients display in the Add Recipients pop-up window which includes the Contact Type, Phone Number, Student Full Name, Contact Full Name, Created By, and Created At.

4. Click Save Recipients.

Testing Messages

1. From the Drafts tab, click Test.

Messages can also be tested from the Edit Message pop-up window while creating them. At the bottom of the pop-up window, click Test.

2. Enter your phone number in the provided text box for a sampling of the message (text and/or call) created. Click Test.

The example variables shown will be used for variables placed in your message.

Sending & Scheduling Messages

1. Depending on the Scheduled Send Date, you will have the ability to Send or Schedule messages.

If the Scheduled Send Date is set to today or a previous date with the current or past Scheduled Send Time, you can click Send to send messages right away.

Phone Communication

If you need to send out an emergency call or message, set the Scheduled Send Date and Scheduled Send Time to the current date and time or a previous date and time to send the message right away.

Once sent, the message will be removed from the Drafts tab and display on the Request History tab.

If the Scheduled Send Date is set to a future date or a future Scheduled Send Time (on the current date), you can click Schedule to schedule the call/text to be sent out on the entered date and time.

The scheduled send date/time determine if the message gets sent now or sent when the scheduled job runs. The scheduled job is triggered to run every 15 minutes (automatically), so the job may not run at the exact time entered here, but the time entered places the message in the queue to be sent out with the scheduled job next time it runs.

Note: This does not mean calls will be sent out every 15 minutes; the scheduled job runs every 15 minutes ensuring all scheduled messages are sent out if there are any waiting to be sent out.

Once you click Schedule, the message will be removed from the Drafts tab and display on the Request History tab.

The scheduled job Phone Communication Processing looks at the Scheduled Send Date and Scheduled Send Time. The recommended runtime interval settings for the scheduled job should be set to whatever is most frequent (every 15 minutes) for the most accurate delivery times by the district.

Duplicating Messages

1. From the Students menu, click Phone Communication.

Phone Communication

2. Click the Drafts tab.

Phone Communication

3. From the existing drafts, click Duplicate next to the message you want to copy.

Once copied, a duplicate message draft displays on the Drafts tab. Here you can make any necessary changes to customize the message. See Phone Communication for more information on creating a message.

Request History

1. From the Students menu, click Phone Communication.

Phone Communication

2. Click the Request History tab.

Phone Communication

The Request History tab displays the Status of the message, the Title, the Type, the Delivery Date, the Date Delivered, Created By, and Created At.

The Status displays as Sent when the text message and/or call was sent and answered or opened.

The Status displays as Pending Delivery if the message is scheduled to be sent and has not been sent yet.

3. Click View Message to view the message that was sent or is scheduled to be sent in a pop-up window.

Click Close to close the pop-up window.

Phone Communication

4. Click View Recipients to view the recipient information for the message.

Click the white X to close the recipient pop-up window.

Phone Communication

5. Click View Report to view the Request History Report for a particular message.

Every recipient that met the criteria will display as a record in the report with the following information:

User Type: Displays Parent, Student, or Staff.

ID: Displays the Student ID or User ID.

Contact Name: Displays the Name of the contact.

Phone Number: Displays the Phone Number of the Parent, Student or Staff Contact that was used in the callout.

Status: Displays Completed when the call/text was sent and opened/answered successfully. Displays Failed when the call could not be completed as dialed or the text message could not be sent, most likely because the phone number is non-existent. Displays as Canceled when the scheduled job was cancelled while in progress.

In the Request History Report, if a phone number fails, a re-enrollment record will be sent to the Parent or Student of the failed number.  This will use the re-enrollment System Preferences set by the district to automatically send out a required re-enrollment form that can be used for the parents and/or students to update their phone numbers within Focus.

6. Click Cancel to stop the message from being sent or from being sent again (recurring messages).

Clicking Cancel moves the message from the Request History tab back to the Drafts tab where the message can be edited or deleted.

Message Templates

1. From the Students menu, click Phone Communication.

Phone Communication

2. Click the Templates tab.

Phone Communication

3. Enter a Title.

4. Select the message Type from the pull-down. Options include SMS (text messages) and/or Phone Call.

5. Press the Enter key to log the message draft.

6. Click Save.

Click the delete button (red minus sign) to remove a template.

Phone Communication
Adding/Editing Messages in Templates

1. Click Edit Message to create/edit the message.

The Edit Message pop-up window displays information depending on the message Type enabled, SMS and/or Phone Call. In the image displayed, both options have been selected, so SMS and Phone Call features are displayed on their corresponding tabs.

Voice Recording

1. Click the Phone Call tab.

Phone Communication

2. Select Recorded as the Call Type to create a recorded message.

Phone Communication

3. If recording your message, click Record and speak your message clearly. Note: You must ensure that the microphone on your computer has been enabled in your computer settings.

Click Finish Recording to stop the recording when complete.

There is a one minute time limit on recorded messages. If the recording has not been stopped by clicking Finish Recording before the one minute mark, the recording will automatically end. The Time Remaining feature displays the amount of time left to make the recording counting down from one minute.

There is a 2-3 second pause before messages begin upon calls being answered by a person or by voicemail to ensure the entire message is recorded if sent to voicemail. Note: If a person answers the call, the message will begin once the person speaks as opposed to waiting 2-3 seconds.

4. Once recorded, click Play to review your message.

Phone Communication

Click Pause to pause the message.

Click Stop to stop the message from playing and go back to the beginning of the message.

Click Record at any time, to re-record you message.

Phone Communication

5. To use the Token Guide and insert variables into a recorded message, while recording, click Insert Data to place a Marker in the recording for where the variable should be placed.

Phone Communication

6. Once finished, you can see where in the message in the markers have been placed. Select the applicable Variable from the pull-down that should take the place for each Marker.

7. Click Save.

See Testing Messages or Testing Template Messages for more information on the Test button.

Text-To-Speech Phone Call

1. If using Text-To-Speech call type, enter the content that will be read to receipts as a phone call in the provided text box.

Phone Communication

There is a Text-To-Speech word limit set to 180 words. The number of words present is displayed out of of 180 words, such as 25/180 as displayed below.

Phone Communication

2. You can enter free text as well as click the variables available in the Token Guide to insert changing information to be customized based on the receipt of the call, such as Date, Student's Full Name, Attendance Code, etc. To use the variable, ensure your cursor/mouse is positioned in the correct place in the message, then click the variable to be added.

3. Click Save.

See Testing Messages or Testing Template Messages for more information on the Test button.

SMS (Text Message)

1. Click the SMS tab.

Phone Communication

2. In the SMS (Text Message) text box, enter the content that will display in the message sent out.

There is a character indicator below the text box, which contains 50 characters per text message sent. The number displayed is the number of characters left in the current meesage out of 50 characters. In the example displayed, adding 69 additional characters will generate 2 text messages. Note: Newer mobile devices should receive the message as one text message.

Phone Communication

Once messages are sent, parents or students can reply TODAY to stop receiving messages for the rest of the day or reply UNSUBSCRIBE to never get messages again.

3. You can enter free text as well as click the variables available in the Token Guide to insert changing information to be customized based on the receipt of the message, such as Date, Student's Full Name, etc.

a. To use the variable, ensure your cursor/mouse is positioned in the correct place in the message, then click the variable to be added.

4. Click Save.

See Testing Messages or Testing Template Messages for more information on the Test button.

Attaching Recipients

1. From the Templates tab, click Attach Recipients.

2. Select the Contact Types that should receive the message using the corresponding check boxes. Options include:

Primary Contact Phone: Send to the phone number(s) of the 1st priority contact with a Custody flag value of "Y" and a Callout flag value of "Y" for each phone number.

Secondary Contact Phone: Send to the phone number(s) of the 2nd priority contact with a Callout flag value of "Y" for each phone number.

Student Phone: Send to the phone number of the student located on the Address block in Student Info.

You can select as many contact types as needed.

3a. Select the Sections from the pull-down for which the message applies.

3b. Click Student Search in order to specify the students who will receive the message, as opposed to sending the message to all students enrolled in Sections selected from the corresponding pull-down.

In order to conduct a Student Search, one of the following Contact Types must be selected: Primary Contact Phone, Secondary Contact Phone, or Student Phone.

a. Conduct a student search in the pop-up window. See Searching for Students for more information.

The Student Search is limited to the selected section (section pull-down in the header).

b. Select the check boxes next to the applicable students to specify the students who will receive the message. Then, click Import Selected Recipients.

The Imported Recipients display in the Add Recipients pop-up window which includes the Contact Type, Phone Number, Student Full Name, Contact Full Name, Created By, and Created At.

Click the delete button (red minus sign) to remove the imported recipient.

3c. If you do not want to select recipients by Sections or by Student Search, you can upload a file of recipients. Click Upload CSV to import recipients in the Import Options section. You must first prepare a CSV file including the following columns: Phone Number, Contact First Name, Contact Last Name, Student First Name, Student Last Name, Student Nickname, Possessive Pronoun, and Personal Pronoun.

a. Select the file from your computer. Click Open.

b. Use the pull-downs to associate the fields with the correct column headers in the file. If this CSV file includes a header row, ensure the Header check box is selected to prevent parsing the data in the first row.

c. Click Submit.

The Imported Recipients display in the Add Recipients pop-up window which includes the Contact Type, Phone Number, Student Full Name, Contact Full Name, Created By, and Created At.

4. Click Save Recipients.

Creating a Message from a Template

1. From the Templates tab, click Create Draft.

Clicking Create Drafts automatically creates a new draft and navigates to the Drafts tab. See Phone Communication for more information on message drafts.

Testing Template Messages

1. From the Templates tab, click Test.

2. Enter your phone number in the provided text box for a sampling of the message (text and/or call) created. Click Test.

The example variables shown will be used for variables placed in your message.

Duplicating Templates

1. From the Students menu, click Phone Communication.

Phone Communication

2. Click the Templates tab.

3. From the existing templates, click Duplicate next to the template you want to copy.

Once copied, a duplicate template displays on the Templates tab. Here you can make any necessary changes to customize the template. See Message Templates for more information on creating templates.

Setting Up Caller ID

1. From the Students menu, click Phone Communication.

Phone Communication

2. Click the Phone Numbers tab.

Phone Communication

3. Enter the Title for the phone number to be used as Caller ID. Note: The Title is for internal use only and doesn't display as caller information.

4. Enter the Phone Number that will display as Caller ID for outgoing phone calls.

5. Enter an Extension number linked to the phone number entered to be used as caller ID. You must enter the number you want to use as a caller ID, upon entering a phone number, the number must first be verified by Twilio. As a result, Twiliio will call that number and require you to enter a code to verify the number. The Extension field allows you to use phone numbers with extension numbers to receive the verification call. Once the number has been verified, the extension does not display on the outgoing caller ID.

6. Select the Public check box to allow other users to select the phone number from the Caller ID (Calls Only) pull-down upon creating or editing a message from the Drafts tab. If Public is selected, all users with permission to view and edit Phone Communication will have access.

7. If the Phone Number is made Public, you can determine the Schools that should have access to the Public caller ID phone number from the corresponding pull-down. If no schools are selected from the pull-down and the Public check box is selected, all schools will have access.

8. Press the Enter key to log the phone number.

9. Click Save.

10. You can make click the corresponding fields to make edits to all fields as long as the phone number hasn't been verified and used.

a. Edits display in yellow. Click Save to apply changes.

11. Click Verify Number to verify the phone number so it can be used as Caller ID.

The number entered will be called where the receipt will be prompted to enter the code on the screen.

Once verified, the Verify Number button no longer displays and Verified displays in the corresponding column.

Additional Features

Click the modal icon to view individual records from a data table in a pop-up modal to alleviate having to scroll horizontally on large tables.

Click the white arrows to navigate through the list of records.

Begin typing the name or number of the desired field in the Filter text box located at the top of each pull-down for a quick search.

Cursor

Click the Check all visible and Clear selected links for quick selections.

Phone Communication

Click the Excel icon in the Export section to export the table of data to an Excel spreadsheet, which is saved to your computer.

Phone Communication

Click the Printer icon to print the table of data.

Click Filters to further breakdown data.

a. To add more than one filter to a column, click on the green plus sign.

b. To delete an added filter, click on the red minus sign.

c. Select the gray arrow for more filtering options.

Phone Communication

See Filters for more information.

You can sort data by clicking on any of the headers. Click once for ascending results; click twice for descending results.

The Page Size defaults to 20 records per page. To display more records per page, enter the number of records. In the example displayed, 10 has been entered. Therefore, page numbers displays.

Click the Prev and Next buttons to navigate in between pages of data. You also have the option to enter a Page number and press Enter to jump to a page.

Phone Communication