Free SMS Communication Templates for Back-to-School During COVID-19

08/03/2020 4 min read Written by Corie Stark

As schools across the country respond differently to the ongoing pandemic, there’s one thing they have in common: They need to keep their community of teachers, staff, parents, and students alerted of essential updates. One method gaining popularity due to its high deliverability, speed, and expansiveness is SMS marketing or sending text messages

If you’re responsible for your school’s communication and are looking for guidance on what to send, keep reading below for some free SMS templates. However, before you copy and paste these into your SMS platform, here are some tips and reminders: 

  • U.S. regulations state that all initial SMS messages need to have an OPT-OUT or unsubscribe option. Your first message can include language like, “Do you wish to subscribe? Reply Y for Yes and N for No” or “Reply STOP if you would like to be removed from this list.” Like the rest of your messaging, you can adjust the language to fit your school’s tone, POV, and more. 
  • Try and be concise with your messaging, but steer away from text slag – after all, you are an educational body! 
  • Make your messaging as personal as you can. With some SMS platforms, you can add tokens to add things like your recipient’s first name, your school name, and more. 
  • Remember, any of these templates can be adjusted depending on the recipient. For example, we’ll provide an example of messaging you can send a parent about a student missing class, but you could tweak the language on the backend if you want to send it to the student directly. 

Alerts and Reminders

For the start of the 2020 back-to-school season, transparent and constant communication has never been more critical. Messages like this can be personalized by adding in phrases like “Your child” and names, and your school’s name, but again, it’s up to you:

[School Name]: Classes will resume via a distance learning framework on [DATE]. Your child, [First Name], can access coursework at [Link]. Reply with STOP to opt out. 

[School Name]: Classes will resume in person [DATE]. Your child, [First Name], can receive more information on safety here [LINK]. 

[School Name]: [First name], was absent from [Subject] or [Teacher Name] class today.  

[School Name]: [First name], did not login to [Subject] or [Teacher Name] video class today.  

[School Name]: Classes are canceled today due to [Event]. 

[School Name]: Classes will resume in person on [DATE]. To meet CDC health guidelines, classroom capacity will be lowered by [PERCENTAGE]. 

[School Name]: All students will be required to wear masks starting [DATE] when in-person classes resume. Respond with any questions by [DATE]. 

[School Name]: REMINDER: Assignments for [TEACHER] or [SUBJECT] are due on [DATE]. Submit them here: [LINK].

[School Name]: REMINDER: Classes will remain online until [DATE]. For more information on reopening, go here: [LINK].

In-Class Engagement or Questions

SMS is an excellent tool for two-way communication. If you allow students, parents, or teachers to text in questions or engage in classes live via text, there are several templates you can use. 

Hi [First Name], thanks for contacting us. School will begin on [DATE] in a distance-learning model. Reply 1 for resolved or 2 for unresolved. 

Hi [First Name], thanks for reaching out. Students can pick up laptops and other resources at [LOCATION] from [TIME] on [DATE]. Reply 1 for resolved or 2 for unresolved. 

[School Name]: Thanks for texting, [First Name]. It was great talking on the phone. Here is a follow-up to our conversation about COVID-19 safety precautions: [LINK]. 

Vote Now: [First Name], reply A if you think the answer to question [NUMBER] is [ANSWER A], B if the answer is [ANSWER B]. 

Vote Now: [First Name], what do you think the answer to question #3 is? Reply with your response to let [TEACHER] know! 

Vote Now: [First Name], what was your favorite book on [TEACHER]’s summer reading list this year? Respond with your answer now! 


You can SMS or text messages to keep your students, parents, teachers, and other staff engaged and happy as they head back to a school environment that’s different than any in the past. 

[School Name]: Virtual [EVENT] is coming soon on [DATE]. Will we see you there? Reply Y to RSVP, and N to cancel. 

[School Name]: How was your summer vacation? Respond with a 1-10 to let us know!

[School Name]: What do you hope to accomplish this year? Respond with a simple answer! 

[School Name]: We hope you have a great day today! 

[School Name]: [First Name], we wanted to share this quick tip on staying healthy! [COVID-TIP]. 

[School Name]: [First Name], don’t forget, you can sign up for virtual [CLUB] by going here [LINK]. The first meeting is [DATE]. 

Create Your Own Templates 

SMS or text messages can be used for a variety of COVID-19 communication as students and teachers head back to school, whether in person or not. You can use the above templates outright or as guidelines peppered with your flair. Either way, you’ll quickly strengthen your SMS marketing skills as you utilize SMS in your communication methods. 

By: Corie Stark

After spending many years as a sports journalist, Corie switched to marketing in 2013. Her love of writing, talking to people, and keeping up with the industry enables her to use her skills for anything from social media to long-form blogging. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her dogs and making her cats chase the ever elusive red dot.

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