Remind out, School Messenger in


photo by Leah Luedeman

Sophomore Rebecca Rollins is checking School Messenger in between fourth period and lunch. She used the app to check if she had to do anything for Spanish or Key Club.

IDs, lanyards, locked doors, code red drills and … School Messenger? With safety becoming a more important issue, Seminole County looked through everything, including applications, to deem if they were safe. Remind was considered unsafe under the county’s standards because they could not monitor what was being sent. This meant teachers had to find a new application.

During pre-planning in early August, teachers received an email about a list of applications that were not district-approved to use, and Remind was on that list. A group of teachers got together to find a similar app within what they already had, and they discovered School Messenger.

“Safety wise, I think it’s more heavily monitored and streamlined through the county, and Remind just wasn’t,” said English teacher Lindsay Jackson, one of the lead technology teachers at the school.

In previous years, teachers used Remind as a way to communicate to students about due dates and special announcements. Students would receive text notifications as well as notifications from the app (if they had it). Remind was used school-wide and countywide among many students.

School Messenger allows for the same abilities and more. Teachers can send out pictures, videos and direct messages to specific students of their choice. Notifications will pop up on phones and can appear as text messages if students opt in.

When students returned on the first day of school, they had received news that teachers were now going to be using School Messenger to communicate with students. Students had not received anything from the county about the change, so it was new to them, just like it was new for staff.

“We haven’t used it at all, and it’s so early in the school year. All I know is that it looks like it is user friendly and it mimics what Remind could do, plus it is county approved,” Jackson said.

The new application will become more common as it is used more. Students will receive messages from the school, their classes, clubs, and sports.