Solutions For Calling Students or Families

The goal of this article is to provide K-12 staff with resources for calling students from their phones without giving out their personal phone numbers. This article was created in response to COVID-19 and the increased demand for alternative communication channels.

Known Challenges With The Following Solutions:

  • Data is not automatically retained for MA Public Records Law

Calling Solutions In This Article

  • TextNow (Our Recommended Simple Solution)
  • Google Voice
  • Blocking Your Number or *67

TextNow (Our Recommended Simple Solution)

TextNow allows you to get a free phone number with unlimited calling/texting within the US and Canda. The service runs off of an app and can be installed on your personal device or your school-issued Chromebook (via Android App Store).

  1. Click Here to start the "Sign Up" process
  2. Login/Create an account with your school Google Account. This can be done by clicking on "Sign Up With Google" and using your school-issued account.
  3. After creating an account you will be asked to pick a phone number for your account. Enter an area code for your area and select a number.
  4. You can now share this number with your students and families. They will be able to call or text this number.

TextNow Challenges

  • This is a free service that is paid for by displaying ads. You may see ads in the app or website when using the service.
  • You are responsible for ensuring you do not delete text messages or call logs. Please maintain records of any communication with students or families.

Google Voice

Google Voice is no longer a free service for Education or Business accounts and will require you to create a personal Gmail account. Google Voice will also require you to link a personal phone number that calls can be forwarded to.

Google Voice is phone service from Google that allows you get a free phone number from Google and make calls via an app or their website.

  1. Click Here to get started with creating a personal Gmail account
  2. After creating your personal Gmail account, click here to start setting up Google Voice via a browser
  3. After setting up your number, you can now download the Google Voice app to your Smartphone. Make sure you login with the Gmail account you linked the phone number to.
  4. You can now share this number with your students and families.

Google Voice Challenges

  • You are required to link a personal cell phone number and create a Gmail account that is not managed by your school.
  • You are responsible for ensuring you do not delete text messages or call logs. Please maintain records of any communication with students or families.
  • The process is not streamlined and making calls/receiving calls can be difficult.

Blocking Your Number or *67

Calling with an "unknown" number is one way to call students or families without revealing your personal phone number. This method is effective at making sure your personal number does not get out but may not be an effective way at reaching people. Unkown numbers are commonly filtered out by apps designed to reduce the number of spam calls someone gets.

  1. Dial *67
  2. Dial the number you want to call
  3. Tap the call button
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