New York Schools Debut a Text Messaging Service To Keep Parents Connected


Last week, as New York City’s public schools came back into session, the Department of Education debuted a new text message service to keep parents informed. Parents can sign up to get information about the school calendar, school lunch menus, and how to enroll their children in school programs – texted right to their phones.

To sign up, parents should text NYCSCHOOLS to 877877.

According to, Mayor Bloomberg touted the program as a crucial step in “doing more to make sure parents have the information they need to help their children succeed – even when they are on the go.”

As SiLive reports,

The new mobile texting program is the latest tool the Department of Education has developed to deliver information about public schools and programming to parents and families.
According to the 2010 and 2011 annual parent School Survey, receiving information through electronic communication is the first choice of parents across age-groups, boroughs, income-levels and ethnicity.
The mobile updates will include the issues parents who responded to the survey indicated as priority: The school calendar; information on how to enroll in school programs; breakfast and lunch menus; and tips on how to log onto ARIS Parent Link – a web resource with student attendance, test score and grade data.

By giving parents the information they need, straight to their phones, the NYC Department of Education is using technology to make city services more accessible. As with the MTA’s Bus Time and the Office of Emergency Management’s Disaster Map, New York City is a pioneer in opening up its data for easy access by the public.

Read More about the NY Schools Text Messaging Program

Other Examples of Governments Opening Up Their Data

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