Group: 100 - General Administration » AP 148 - Automated Communications

AP 148 - Automated Communications


Communication with parents/caregivers concerning the education programming delivered to their children is important. The use of automated communication systems is one tool that supports information sharing, but is not intended to replace the personal interactions that define relationships between the student, parent/guardian, and their school.  


1.  Automated communication systems are regulated in their general application due to the potential intrusiveness of the tool. Therefore, while these systems are permitted within the educational context, consideration and guidelines around the tool's application and use are necessary to ensure a responsible application that serves to benefit both users and recipients of communication via the tool.  

2.  The purpose of these guidelines is to establish a standard for the situational application of Horizon School Division's SchoolMessenger communication system, the development of messages that are appropriate for distribution, and the target audiences for receipt of messages. 

3.  The intended audiences (End Users) for these communications are:
3.1. Parents/Guardians
3.2. Staff (for emergency purposes) 
4.  The hierarchy of use, in order of importance, is for:
4.1.  Emergency Notification
4.2.  Attendance (High Schools)
4.3.  School day disruptions (program or service cancellations/changes, early closures, other operational problems)
4.4.  Future school day or event disruptions/cancellations (no school, early release, cancelled field trip etc.) 
5.  Messaging will be delivered by voice, email and/or text. End Users will have to "opt in" for text message delivery. 

6.  Parent/Guardian contacts will be derived from, and maintained in the Division's Student Information System (SIS). 

7.  Standard messages will be used wherever possible. Communications to provide script templates, when appropriate.  

8.  All messages should be created using the following guidelines for creating effective messages:
  • Identify message creator  (school or school division name)
  • Brevity
  • Reason for message
  • Action required, if any
  • Essential dates/times, if any
  • Contact for further information e.g. website 
9.  All school messaging requires approval of principal or designate; School administrators, school secretaries will be required to maintain local messaging. 

10.  All Division-related messaging requires approval of the Director (or designate). 

11.  Communications will be required to maintain Division related standard messaging. 

12.  Department heads will be required to create and maintain operational messaging requirements. 

13.  Any application that cannot adhere to these standards, must submit the rationale to the Director (or designate) for consideration. 

Reference:  Section 85, 175, The Education Act, 1995
November 30, 2017