District/School-to-Home Communications

  • Blackboard

    Grand Forks Public Schools uses a district-wide notification system called Blackboard for our website, mass notification (telephone, email, SMS/text messaging, social media), and smartphone app in an effort to communicate with families and employees quickly through multiple channels. These systems seamlessly with our student and employee information systems so we can personally contact families and employees with vital information.

    In order to receive timely information, families should ensure the contact information (including all phone numbers, email addresses, and physical address(es)) is accurate and up-to-date in the PowerSchool system (https://grand-forks.ps.state.nd.us/public/home.html). Please note: once information is changed in PowerSchool, it typically takes up to 24 hours to update in the Blackboard system.

    Website

    You can find a variety of information on our websites. The websites have a consistent template in order for users to easily find information regardless of which website you are on. Use the "Choose Your School" option at the top of the district or any school website to access school websites.

    Choose Your School  

    During an emergency, on-screen alerts may be added to the district and/or school website(s). When you first visit the site, a window will appear and you will need to read the information before proceeding. 

    Telephone

    The school/school system sends telephone calls in the cases of attendance notification (i.e. inform you that your child has been reported with an unexcused absence), school cancellation/postponement, and/or during an emergency. In the event of an emergency, the Blackboard system will call every number stored in the PowerSchool system.

    If you miss any part of a message, please stay on the line and press the star/asterisk (*) key to hear the entire message again. You can also call 1-855-977-0602 and listen to the last five messages sent to by the Blackboard Connect system.

    Email

    The school/school system will send emails with information (ex: newsletter, intramural schedule, etc.) to you as needed.  

    SMS/Texting Notifications

    In August 2018, Grand Forks Public Schools added SMS (Short Message Service)/text messaging as an option for families to receive timely, accurate, and important information from Grand Forks Public Schools.

    During registration, you were asked if you would like to provide your cell phone number to receive text messages. In providing your phone number, you indicated your willingness to receive text messages from Grand Forks Public Schools. Please check with your cell phone provider for any possible charges when using their text messaging service. Grand Forks Public Schools is not responsible for any charges you incur from your cell phone provider by receiving text messages.

    Those who opted in will receive messages including, but not limited to calendar reminders (ex: holidays, elementary early out, etc.), weather-related announcements, and emergency notifications.

    The number you will receive these notifications from is 60680 (a shortcode). Please save and program that number as Grand Forks Public Schools so you can quickly recognize it. If you did not provide your cell phone number at registration and would like it added, please update this information in PowerSchool, or contact your school secretary.

    The SMS/text messaging option will be used in addition to our current communication methods. At this time, we anticipate you will receive an average of 3-4 messages per month.

    If you accidentally opt-out of telephone calls/text messages, you can opt-in by:

    • Phone calls: Call the Blackboard Phone Hotline at "855-502-STOP (855-502-7867)" from the phone line that has been opted out.
    • Text (SMS) messages: Reply START to "60680" from the phone line that has been opted out for non-emergency messages. Reply START to "54968" for emergency messages.
    • Contact your school secretary for assistance.

    Social Media

    Grand Forks Public Schools maintains and allows for social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram) accounts. For more information about the schools, teachers, classrooms, etc., that use social media please consult our social media directory.

    Smartphone App

    In August 2018, Grand Forks Public Schools launched a free mobile app. Mobile apps are an easy way to provide on-demand access to information that drives student success. This app is for anyone who would like to access news, calendar events, and resources about Grand Forks Public Schools on their smartphone.

    To download the app on your phone:

    To follow your child’s/neighborhood school(s) to receive notifications and access news, calendar events, and resources:

    • Open the Grand Forks Public Schools app
    • Click on the “Settings” icon (located in the upper right-hand corner)
    • Click on “Follow schools” and select the school(s) you would like to follow
    • Under each school, please make sure you have marked “Receive Inbox Messages” and also have marked any other item(s) you would like to receive.

    Newsletters (Smore)

    As part of our continued work in adhering to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and web accessibility standards, we began using Smore for school-to-family newsletters. Smore is a web-based newsletter program that works seamlessly on tablets, smartphones, and computers. It is customizable (design, background, fonts, colors), and has a variety of features available, which includes language translation and contrast adjustment.

    Purposity

    Purposity allows our community to quickly and easily lend a hand to a student in need, right from your phone. By simply signing up on their website, users are sent a text message once a week with a specific physical need they can meet. Would you help if a student in your child’s class needed shoes? With just a few clicks, you can purchase the item, which is mailed to our school social workers and get into the hands of our students quickly, allowing more time to focus on the long-term needs of our students.

    This tool also lets the community know about the powerful work we’re doing and tells the stories of the students we serve while giving our supporters another opportunity to quickly get involved in lending a hand a child in our community.

    To be a part of the Purposity movement, and help us continue our critical work, please visit www.purposity.com and sign up.