Did you bundle yourself and your kids up, ice skate to the car, drive slowly but steadily to the school, endangering the lives of your precious cargo as well as other motorists, only to arrive at the school and find out that the school has been closed for a “snow day”?

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way that your child’s school could have communicated this “snow day” to you before you even got into your car in the first place? Saving you from jeopardizing those you love (and even those you don’t know) from the chaotic landscape that has been all around us in the last few weeks.

Dan Perrin, father of three school going children and business development manager at BulkSMS.co.uk, was in this situation just last week and he advises that “there is a quick, cost-effective way in which schools can and do communicate with parents (or even students and teachers) in real time when there is something important they need to get across – they simply send a text message”.

Many parents have been ‘put out’ by arriving at school with the children en-tow only to find out that school that day has actually been cancelled. However, there have been those schools with the knowledge of where to go and who to use to send a single text message to all parents letting them know that the school will be closed and for how long.

Even though things seem to be warming up, it’s been known to snow as late as April, so the winter weather is far from over. Schools should really take charge of the situation right now and prepare while there may be temporary respite. “Most parents have a mobile phone and can receive important announcements from the school via text. With text messaging, schools have a more effective and cost-efficient way of communicating with parents,” said Perrin.

By using a bulk messaging solution, a school is able to send out one message to all relevant parties at one go. According to Perrin, “text is a good way to keep parents informed – whether it is a notification that a learner is absent from school or will be returning home with a report card, a reminder about a parent/teacher meeting or a sporting event, an announcement for a forthcoming school social or theatre production, or a call to parents to pay outstanding school fees.”

Schools are finding that text communications reduces expenses such as phone bills, photocopying, printing and mailing. It also reduces staff workload and frees up time that would otherwise be spent on preparing communications by school administrators or teachers.

“Not only does using text messaging benefit the school; it also allows schools to communicate to the parents in a way that includes them in the day to day school life of their child,” said Perrin.

More and more schools are using the BulkSMS Text Messenger service to send text messages to parents. This desktop application is user-friendly, and makes sending a text as easy as sending an email. In addition, BulkSMS.com offers schools a part-sponsored tagline discount when they register on the Community.BulkSMS.co.uk website. This has the advantage of offering the schools a reduced cost when sending text messages.