E-Notify Communication Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between e-Notify and News You Choose?

E-Notify messages are sent using the Blackboard Connect system. Parents of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students and employees of the school system are automatically enrolled. Contact information is loaded into the Blackboard Connect system from the student information system and the employee databases.  FCPS central offices and schools use the Blackboard Connect system to communicate emergency, attendance, and outreach messages. It is important that parents keep each child's emergency contact information up to date. We recommend parents use weCare@School, a feature of FCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard) to review and update the information. Requests to update student contact information may also be directed to the student information assistant at each school by the child's parents or legal guardians. FCPS employees may view and update contact information through UConnect.

News You Choose is a subscription-based e-mail communication tool used for the distribution of "non-critical" e-mail communications such as newsletters, events, news updates, and other topics.

How do I update my contact information?

Parents and legal guardians of students may view and update their student's contact information using the weCare@Schoola feature of FCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard). For FCPS 24-7 Learning Parent support, please create an FCPS Learning Parent Support ticket at: http://www.fcps.edu/is/instructionaltechnology/247help/parents.shtml.

Parents may also contact the student information assistant at their child's school and request to update the emergency contact information in the student information system.

I think my school is sending too many messages or not enough, what should I do?

Please contact the school administration to make them aware of your concerns.

I am a parent who wishes to opt-out of outreach telephone calls and messages sent to my home or cell phone from the Blackboard Connect system. I DO want to be contacted by phone for important matters like attendance and emergency calls, but only wish to receive outreach by e-mail, not phone. Can this be done?

Yes, contact your child's school and let them know. You will need to submit a signed, written statement to the school indicating the phone numbers you want blocked from outreach only types of phone calls. If your school opts to send an important communication by phone only, you will miss the message. The schools should have a sample letter you may use. You may also contact Support to facilitate your request with your school.

I am a parent who wishes to opt-out of all telephone communication including emergency and attendance. How do I do this?

The only way to opt-out of all telephone communications sent from the Blackboard Connect system is to submit a signed, written statement to the school that you fully understand that by opting-out, you will not receive any telephone messages. Blackboard Connect, our service provider, will block all communications from their system to the phone numbers you specify.

Please note: You will not get emergency communications, unexcused absence messages if the child for whom you are an emergency contact is missing from school, early closing or delayed opening notifications, messages from your student's teachers and school staff members regarding your student's education, and other news and information from the student's school or FCPS central administration.

The schools should have a sample letter you may use. You may also contact Support to facilitate your request with your school.

How are emergency notifications different than the other messages?

Emergency messages are reserved for rare occasions when it is crucial that information be sent as quickly as possible to all FCPS contacts. All phone numbers and e-mail addresses listed in contacts are notified simultaneously by phone, e-mail, and SMS (if opted-in). Examples of an emergency message: unscheduled early dismissals, tornado warnings, or other crisis situations.

How can I receive text (SMS) messages?

Parent cell phone numbers that are listed in the Student Information System (SIS) will be automatically enrolled to receive text messages. Please see FCPS Text Messaging Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Parents for more information.

Please note: FCPS only sends SMS messages in cases of emergency, delayed openings/school closings, or essential parent communications.

I am not receiving text or e-mail messages from my child's school. I heard from other parents that messages have been going out, why am I not receiving them? What can I do?

If you are a parent, make sure the e-mail addresses and cell phone contact numbers listed on your child's record are correct. Login to your parent account inFCPS 24-7 Learning (Blackboard) and check the weCare@School feature to verify your contact information.

Check your spam filter or folder to see if the messages are being blocked by your e-mail service provider. For more information see the Whitelisting page. If the e-mail address listed is a work e-mail address, you may need to ask your IT department to whitelist or allow FCPS messages sent via the Blackboard Connect system be whitelisted at a higher level.

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