NTPS Utilizes School Messenger for Parent Communication
North Thurston Public Schools utilizes a communication system called School Messenger. When you register your child to attend school, you consent to receive these communications. Your contact information, including phone number, email address, cell phone, etc., are obtained from Student Records and used to send messages from schools and teachers through phone calls, emails, and text messages. The messages you receive are not for marketing or commercial purposes (see types of messages below). Teachers also have access to the system to interact with parents via the School Messenger App & Website.
School & District messages include:
- School closures
- Emergency Information
- Attendance reports
- General announcements
Teacher messages can include:
- Classroom announcements
- One-to-one chats
- Download the family/teacher message FAQ
Release of Student Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects your student’s personally identifiable information, such as education records, from being disclosed without your consent.
But the law allows North Thurston Public Schools to disclose what they call “directory information” without your consent. We do not release ANY mailing or other lists of contact information of individuals for commercial purposes. In addition, for students in grades 9-12, a separate ”opt out of release of directory information” only for requests from United States military recruiters is provided by law, as explained below.
What is Student Directory Information?
- Student name, address, and telephone numbers (unless identified as unknown);
- Any photographs/video of your student;
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
- Weight, height, grade level of athletic team members;
- Dates of attendance;
- Degrees, honors, and awards received;
- Schools previously attended.
Where do we use this Directory Information?
- District social media posts;
- District websites;
- Videos, including release of District-created videos to local media;
- Sport teams news reports and other coverage, including rosters
- My TRL (online-only Timberland Library Card) www.trl.org
What if I don’t want this information released?
You must submit a letter to your child’s school, each school year, by October 1st, to have your student’s Directory Information not released, including in the examples listed above. Each letter is good for one school year. If you enroll your child after September 20, you must submit the letter within 10 calendar days after enrollment.
Even for students with no FERPA opt-out letter on record, NTPS employees will exercise their best judgement when releasing directory information and seek parent/guardian permission for situations that would generally be considered outside the realm of typical school-related activities or news. Also, the District cannot control the release of certain directory information – such as photographs/images or names – when students participate in school events open to the public such as sports.
Student directory information requests by outside organizations
For High School students only: Federal law requires the school district to provide military recruiters with students' name, address, and phone number unless parents have informed the district not to do so. (Section 9528 of Title IX or H.R. 1, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001)
If you do not want NTPS to disclose directory information, or if you want your child's contact information withheld specifically from military recruiters, you must inform the district in writing.