There are several IMPORTANT changes with communications protocols for St. Margaret’s School for the 2023-2024 school year. Below is your guide to knowing where to find all of the school information throughout the year.
- Starting this year, we are excited to announce that we will now be using a new school management system – the FACTS SIS (Student Information System) – and will no longer be utilizing FastDirect for school communications. Loved or hated – the truth is that we’ve outgrown FastDirect, and needed a more modern solution. And with FACTS, we will now have information, tuition payments, applications, & enrollment all in one place.
- We’re in the process of setting up FACTS Family Portal – a private and secure online platform that will allow you to see academic information specific to your children, while protecting their information from others.
- Moving forward, all of your communications details can be found in FACTS – and yes, there is a mobile app as well. FACTS works differently for families in that there is no messaging or inbox in the system… simply, just a directory of students, staff, and family information – one click, and it will open your proprietary email system, and you can email people directly (no more needing to login to a system to check your messages – they’ll come straight to your inbox and you reply directly).
- Instructions for how to login and get started are available at the link below. WE NEED ALL FAMILIES TO LOGIN AND UPDATE THEIR PROFILE NO LATER THAN 8/16. Starting on the 16th, we will activate the family directory for all – so any changes or omissions that you wish to make to your information need to occur before then otherwise what we have is what will get published in the system. (We carried all info over from FastDirect, but it is your responsibility to verify it.) If you do NOT want your info in the directory, make sure to select that in the preferences before 8/16.
As part of our FACTS rollout – we are excited to inform you that our school now has a new rapid alert system to improve communication with our families. Parent Alert will allow us to send out communications via Text, Email, and Voice Messages for all type of events. We will be sending a lot of these types of messages to keep our parents up-to-date with information, and these alerts can be used for many reasons – but will also provide us with a fast efficient way to communicate with our families in case of an emergency.
Any text alerts from our school will begin with “SMOS-MO” and come from 31706, and voice calls will show from (314) 776-7837.
To help you identify school text alerts on your mobile device, each text received will come from the number 31706. To ensure you receive text alerts, do the following from EACH mobile device listed in FACTS:
- Text the word START to the number 31706
- Don’t opt out using the STOP method
By providing your consent, you are enrolling in Columbia Academy Parent Alerts. Subscription to the alerts is not required. Message frequency will vary. Message and data rates may apply. You may opt out at any time by texting STOP. https://factsmgt.com/privacy-policy/”
If you decide to opt-out of regular communications, you will still receive emergency alerts from us if the need arises.
Note: Per Telephone Consumer Protection Act we must provide all recipients the option to Opt Out of receiving our alerts. Anytime we send out a text alert you will see “Stop to End”. If you reply “Stop” you will no longer receive our text alerts regardless if we select you as a recipient, unless such messages are marked “Emergency”.
- The School Thursday Newsletter will now be published via Flocknote. If you’re not familiar with Flocknote, it is an e-newsletter service geared specifically towards Parishes and Schools. With it – all SMOS Parish and School news blasts will all be housed under one platform.
- We will import all parent emails into the system automatically, but you are in control of your own account and what you receive. You can go in and add other mailing groups in the parish to your profile and can opt-out at any time. To do so, just go to the Flocknote website to make any changes or read past issues this year.
- If you add your cell phone number to your account as well, you will have the ability to choose to receive the newsletter via text rather than email. Also, some last-minute updates might sometimes be sent via text as well.
WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA
The School website is a valuable source of information and news for all parents. And if you’re a social media user, the School (and Parish) has a number of social media channels and groups on different platforms. Parents specifically will want to join the SMOS School Reminders group if they’re Facebook users – the group posts up-to-date information on things happening around the school. (If you don’t use Facebook, no worries – all information posted there is repeated elsewhere – it is only provided on Facebook as a convenience for families, since many utilize the social channel for info purposes.)
What about all of the other social media options?
There are a number of other groups and pages on Facebook, which parents might be interested in. Some are official – some are “unofficial” (meaning they are not run by the School or Parish, but by parents or other interested groups).
- School Facebook Page
- PTA Facebook Page
- Parish Facebook Page
- Parish Facebook Groups
- School Instagram
- Parish Instagram
Unofficial: The PTA maintains a list of Facebook Groups for parents – there are groups for every class, as well as a very popular “Adventure” group. Click here for the most up-to-date list.