Version 2.0 - Filling Out Your Default Settings

Default Settings

Making sure the default settings are filled out is one of the first things that should be done. This will ensure future messages are sent with the correct email address or Caller ID. You can modify your message categories as well as time zone and notification emails.

Start by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the school name, then select Settings.

 

Once you are in settings you will see several tabs. Let’s start with the General Tab.

Bill Code: This is an internal identifier that you can use to distinguish who is sending the messages.

Region: This will change your country association and should be defaulted to your existing country.

Time Zone: This will change how the time is displayed and should be set to your local time zone.

Use Translation: Checking this box will enable the multi-language translation feature if Alert Solutions is mapped to a desired PowerSchool language field.

Language: This changes the user interface (UI) display language. Available options are English or Canadian-French.

Name Expression: This feature is not currently available.

 

Next, let’s review the Channels Tab.

The Channels Tab will allow you to activate the message channels you are subscribed to.

Just check the box next to the channels you wish to use. Uncheck the box to disable.

 

Tip!  This feature allows you to limit the channels a user has available when creating a message.

The Channels Tab also gives you the ability to create message defaults for all the message channels you are subscribed to, including:


Voice


Tip! 3 redial attempts is recommended for the best message delivery rate.

In the Voice section you can set the Caller ID that will show for all voice calls sent out.  You can also set the number of redials desired when a phone number is unreachable.  

Set Stop Time: This will allow you to select a time that Voice messages will be forced to stop. Although at the district/school’s discretion, it is recommended to set stop time at 11:59 PM to allow for near millisecond 24/7 send opportunity.

If you would like to limit broadcast times, you can complete the ‘Allow Broadcasts Between’ section and voice calls will only be sent within the time frame desired.

Tip! Limit Broadcast times do not have to apply to all users.   Allow certain users to send at any time based on security settings in Settings > Security Tab.

Once you are satisfied you will need to click Save Changes before you move to the next tab.

 

Email

 

 On the email tab you can set the default addresses for sending email messages.

Display Name: This should be an accurate description of the school sending the message.

Email From: This must be a valid email address. It is NOT recommended to use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.. addresses due to DMARC policies Using the proper email address will help ensure optimal email delivery.

Reply To: This will allow you to set a default email in order to handle responses to email broadcasts.

Subject: This can be used to set a default subject line if you would like. This can also be left blank so you can change the subject for each message.

Tip! Limit Broadcast times do not have to apply to all users.   Allow certain users to send at any time based on security settings in Settings > Security Tab.

Once you are satisfied you will need to click Save Changes before you move to the next tab.

 
Text Messaging

Short Code: This phone number/short code is defaulted and should not be changed. This is the number that will appear when recipients receive an SMS message from you.

IMPORTANT: If no short code is set through this drop-down, all messages created, as well as automated attendance and low lunch balance alerts will not be sent out, even if other channels (Voice, Email) are selected and used.

Set Stop Time: This will allow you to select a time that SMS messages will be forced to stop. Although at the district/school’s discretion, it is recommended to set stop time at 11:59 PM to allow for near millisecond 24/7 send opportunity.

Tip! Limit Broadcast times do not have to apply to all users.   Allow certain users to send at any time based on security settings in Settings > Security Tab.

Once you are satisfied you will need to click Save Changes before you move to the next tab.

 

  

Next, let’s review the Category Tab.

The Category Tab will allow you to manage and create the message categories you will use when sending a message.

You can edit any category by clicking on the pencil icon to the right of the category.

Default: It is important to note that one of them must be set as a default. Every time you create a message, the default message category will automatically be selected.

Lock Contact Preferences: Checking this box means parents cannot modify their contact preferences for that particular category. For example, if "Emergency Alert" is locked, parents will not be able to opt-out of that category using the Parent Portal.

Once you are satisfied you will need to click Save Changes before you move to the next tab.

Let's explore the Social Media Tab, next. Please note that this tab may only be visible if allowed at the district level.

Social media is an excellent way for a K-12 school or district to share information rapidly with students, families and staff members. Reach the broader school community by easily posting important messages to your school’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


How to Connect to Your School’s Facebook Page

Click on the ‘Connect with Facebook’ button.

 

This will prompt you to sign in to the Facebook account that you would like to post to. Simply type in your Facebook credentials and click the Log In button shown below.

 
 

Note: If you are currently signed into your personal Facebook account in the Internet browser, your Facebook credentials will auto-populate in the screen above. Please ensure you are connecting using the correct Facebook account.

Review the ‘Connected as’ name to be sure it is correct. Then click on the Update Page button to select the Facebook page you would like the posts to appear on.

 

Once you select the page, click the ‘Connect’ button.

 

Once the connection is complete, this will now allow you to share broadcasts on Facebook.

 

How to Connect to Your School’s Twitter Page

Click on the ‘Connect with Twitter’ button.

 

This will prompt you to sign in to the Twitter account that you would like to post to. Simply type in your Twitter credentials and click the Authorize App button shown below.

 

Once the authorization is complete, this will now allow you to share broadcasts on Twitter.

 

How to Use an RSS Feed

Click on the ‘Create RSS Feed’ button to create a unique RSS URL for your school broadcasts.

 

Give the RSS feed a Title and a Description for the RSS feed readers. Then click ‘Create’.

 

Once the RSS feed is created, this will now allow you to share broadcasts via RSS.

 

Note: You do not have to activate all of the Social Media options to be able to share on one.

Now your social media accounts are connected and active. You can come back and change/disconnect these at any time!

Next, let's review the Security Tab.

This tab shows the configuration of user groups regarding access to Alert Solutions.




To add new groups to your configuration, select the Add New Group button on the right-hand side of the Security tab.

To make changes to existing groups, select the group name by either typing in to the Search by Name wild card field, or by clicking the Edit button next to the desired group that you would like to revise.


Within the user group, you will have two tabs: Users and Privileges.


Under the Users tab, you will see the list of users not currently in the group listed on the left-hand side. 

The list of users on the right-hand side already exist within the Group.

The Users are listed as: Last Name, First Name and their Login ID.


To add, move or delete users from a group, use the checkbox to select the User(s) that you would like to include and choose the Add to Group, Remove from Group, Add All or Remove All Button.

 

Within the Privileges screen, you can determine user privileges via On/Off switches.


In addition, to make adjustments to privileges specifically by level, you can Search by Name and enter in the name of the level that you would like to turn on or turn off.

Once completed, select the Save button in the bottom right of the panel.

New or updated security groups have been configured!

You will need to click Save Changes before you move to the next tab.

Let's review the PowerSchool tab

This tab should only be accessed by the person responsible for managing the Alert Solutions and PowerSchool integration and is only accessible at the District level.

This option allows for updates to PowerSchool field mapping and other default field preferences. For example, which fields should be opted-in to which message categories by default, friendly field names, and which fields are hidden or visible within Alert Solutions’ PowerSchool Admin and Public Portal integration

Finally, let's review the Public Portal Tab

The Public Portal tab will allow you to setup emails to receive notifications when subscriber data is updated via the Parent Portal.  Click + Add New and fill out the email address(es) in the box.

 

You can continue to add new emails as needed.

You can also delete any unwanted email addresses by clicking the red X to the right of the email address box.

Once you are satisfied, you will need to click Save Changes before you move to the next tab.

Now your default settings are complete.  You can come back and change these at any time!

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