In this lesson, teachers/admin will learn where to access, compose, and reply to messages from Students/Parents using the Home Connection Portal.
How does a district go about enabling messaging?:
Contact their IM to discuss what messaging is, how it works and if it's a good fit for the district.
Is this permissions based?
No. This is important to note. Once messaging is enabled, it is enabled for everyone, district wide.
How is a parent notified there is an unread message?
By email. There is also an unread message count in the "Messages" tab of the portal.
How is a user notified there is an unread message?
By email. There is also an unread message count next to the "Dashboard" link in the Illuminate header.
Can a message be modified or deleted after it has sent?: No
If a user includes multiple recipients in a message, then all recipients will see all messages. Think of it as a constant "Reply All." Users at this time, cannot message each other.
- Any user (principals, teachers, admins, etc.) can message a parent/student that they have access to.
- Parents/Students can reply to a conversation started by a user that isn't a student's teacher but can only compose a message to a student's current teachers.
- There is no way currently to opt out of email notifications. This is in development.
- There is no way for users or parents to change their email address via the interface. This is in development.
- This was not built for mass messaging. Mass messaging is a separate feature that we will be working on this year.
Where to Start
1. Click on Students.
2. Select Parent-Teacher Messaging (Beta).
Parent-Teacher Messaging Inbox Overview
This is your Parent-Teacher Messaging Inbox Overview page, providing a list of current messages and where to compose a new one.
- Subject displays the title or subject of the message listed.
- The list of Participants or those whom the message has been sent to are listed. Notice colors based on participants change.
- Last Updated will provide a date of the last response for that message.
- To Search through the inbox quickly, use key words or contacts.
- To write a message, select Compose.
Compose a New Message
Add Contacts or Recipients
Contacts, students and parents, available are based on rostering and visiblity. Please contact your Site Administrators if students or parents are not available to you and should be.
1. Use the Contact Search dropdown menus to find the student/parent(s) you wish to message.
2. Click Find Students.
3. A list will populate to review all available recipients of the message.
4. To add recipients, select Add to Recipients at right. They will be added to the recipients box in the Compose area.
Compose or Write the Message
By adding multiple recipients, this message will act by defuault as a Reply All. This means that any one of the recipients can respond and it will reply to all of the recipients on the message.
From the step above, as you selected Add Recipients, they populated on the Recipient field in your message.
- Give your message a subject.
- Compose the body of your message.
- You have the option to Lock the message, making it act more like an announcement where recipients cannot reply. They would need to start a new message to you directly.
- Click Send. Once sent, you will be automatically redirected to your Inbox.
From a Teacher's View
The lock feature is optional but a great way to mass communicate to recipients without the need for a reply. For example, this can be messages in regards to returning books, upcoming classroom acitvities or parties, which don't necessarily need a reply.
From a Parent or Student's View
From a Paren or Student's perspective, a locked message will be indicated if chosen in two places. When a parent or student is in Messaging on the portal, they will see their Inbox. If the message is Locked, the lock icon will show.
When the parent or student has clicked to open the message, all reply tools are unavailable and a message indicating the message was locked is highlighted in yellow.
Replying to Messages
Once a conversation has been started (Or you have selected the subject to read the message), you will be able to directly reply underneath the conversation.
Once you reply, you will be taken directly back to your Inbox, and will receive the confirmation message, 'Your reply was successfully sent.'
Notifications & Alerts
How Do I Know I Received a Message?
If you are using the Illuminate Home Connection Portal and a parent has sent you a message, upon login you will see a blue numerical indicator next to 'Dashboard' to the top-right corner of the page.
To see the messages, you can click on blue numerical icon.