3/1 - Creating messages and templates in SchoolMessenger for use in Lockdown messaging

Dear Principals:

In the event of a lockdown, it’s important to be prepared to send a message to parents as quickly as possible. With kids using social media during lockdowns and the news media listening to police scanners, news of a lockdown spreads quickly. You want to keep parents informed, but also don’t want to send a message out, and then have the lockdown lifted five-minutes later. Consult with School Police and use your best judgment on determining how long you’ll be in lockdown. Some school communities want immediate communication; others are okay with receiving it a little later. You know your community – use your best judgment. If you have any questions about this, please contact Jennifer Rodriguez (jcornelius@sandi.net) in Communications. 

To assist with this, we have created three messages (Lockdown, Lockdown Lifted, There was a lockdown earlier) in both English and Spanish that can be used in SchoolMessenger. For lockdowns, we suggest sending a voice, email and text message and using the “School Hours Emergency” message type, which reaches ALL phone numbers, emails and text numbers on file for a student. Use this cautiously since it does reach out to all phone numbers.

We strongly encourage you to create templates in SchoolMessenger (instructions included below) so that they can be quickly modified and sent. We recommend recording ahead of time the initial lockdown message so that it can be sent within minutes of a lockdown decision. A personalized voice message is preferred over text to speech. We also suggest preparing the other two messages, but since they may need modifications, we do not recommend recording them ahead of time.

Please keep in mind the following when preparing templates:

  • Each individual who may be responsible for sending a lockdown message will need to prepare these messages/templates in their own account. Unfortunately, they cannot be shared. (For example: If the principal prepares a template in their account, he/she must send the message or give an assistant access to their account to send the message). We recommend both the principal and an assistant prepare templates.
  • It is possible for the principal to record a voice message on a cell phone and upload the audio to another account, such as an assistant or VP. To accomplish this, please review pages 14-15 of the Advanced Training Guide or call SchoolMessenger for assistance at 800-920-3897.

If at any time you need assistance with sending a message, SchoolMessenger customer support is available 24/7 at 1-800-920-3897 (option 2, option 2). If you have questions about the messaging, please contact Jennifer Rodriguez in Communications at jcornelius@sandi.net (619-725-5598)

Please see the instructions below on setting up templates. All training documents can be found on the SchoolMessenger District Information Page on the staff portal under “Tools, Training and Support” https://www.sandi.net/staff/schoolmessenger/tools-training-support


Lockdown Messages (Posted on the staff page on the SchoolMessenger District Information Page - A-Z Index>SchoolMessenger District Information Page>Lockdown Messages.