News and Updates
CONTRACT EXTENSION ERROR
On Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 7:00 am, a Contract Extension error message appeared when attempting to send messages through the Blackboard Connect system.
The error appears to be impacting new messages that are being created and scheduled today.
The Blackboard Support team is currently working to resolve the issue so messages can be sent today.
Update 8:45 am-The issue has been resolved. Please schedule messages and report any continuing issues to email@example.com.
Blackboard Connect User Access
Principal Access-To request access to the Blackboard Connect mass notification system or to change school locations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org providing the following information:
- Principal Name
- Principal email address
- School locations (including California State Preschools)
- School main phone number.
Other (excluding Principals) User Accounts-The principal can make requests for other Blackboard Connect user accounts to be created by providing the below information.
- Employee Name
- Employee Position (AP, Counselor, SAA, Coordinator, etc.)
- Employee email address
- School locations (including California State Preschools)
- School main phone number.
The previous Blackboard Connect User Request form (available under the Forms menu) can also be completed. The form should no longer be faxed to the number on the form but should be emailed to email@example.com.
Users are experiencing delays when recording voice messages. The delays are occurring when entering the User ID and Message Box IDs as well as when attempting to listen or save the messsage.
The issue has been reported to Blackboard which is researching the cause of the delays. The system is operational and the user should wait between 4-6 seconds for the Integrated Voice Response system to respond.
In addition, when reopening a message saved in the Drafts folder, it may initially appear that no message has been recorded. Please wait for the system to connect to the recording which may take as much as 10 seconds.
Important Notice: Updating Student Contact Notification in MiSiS
When enrolling a student for the first time or updating new telephone contact information, please ensure that parental email addresses, general, attendance and emergency notification and text (if provided) contact information is entered for at least one parent. Ensure that the relationship is listed as Mother, Father, Step-Mother, Step Father or Guardian (avoid using the Parent classification).
The Blackboard Connect system allows for up to six telephone numbers, two text numbers and two emails to be associated with each student. The telephone contact and email information should be entered on the MiSiS Parent/Guardian Info page. Any students without at least one notification contact number will not appear in the Blackboard Connect system.
Blackboard Connect for Teacher History Reports
Teachers are receiving an error message when attempting to run a history report of messages that were sent.
- Try running report using a different browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari).
- Try clearing the broswer cache in your current browser and running the History report again.
- Impact of Relationship Changes in Misis on Blackboard
The November 2021 Misis changes to the Relationship field content on the Parent Guardian Information screen will not have an impact on the contact information sent to Blackboard. Concurrent with the Misis change, the data export process will be modified to allow parents/guardians with the same relationship status to be captured and provided to Blackboard.
- Difficulties Recording Voice Message Using 800 901-4956
If you are encountering difficulties recording your voice message using the 800 901-4956 phone number, please try using any one of the following phine numbers:
- Cannot Save Blackboard Connect Profile
The most common reason for having difficulties saving your Blackboard Connect profile is related to the password configuration. Make sure that your password complies with all of the following requirements.
- Must be at least eight characters in length.
- Must be ONLY letters and numbers. No special characters such as ! @ # $ % & _ -.
- Must contain at least one capital letter.
- Must contain at least on number.
Click on Save.
- Common Reasons Why Calls, Emails or Texts are Not Being Received
The Blackboard Connect system is capable of sending messages via phone, email and text.
When recipients report that they are not receiving messages through a particular delivery mode, the below are the steps that can be taken to resolve the issue.
First, determine whether the system is showing a successful or unsuccessful delivery.
- Log into Blackboard Connect and click on the Recipients menu heading.
- Enter the student or employee name in the search field and click on the Search button. Enter last name, first name.
- When the results display, hover over the appropriate name and click on the pencil icon. This will bring up the Edit Contact screen showing the phone numbers and email addresses within the Blackboard Connect system. Ensure that the correct phone numbers appear. If not, student information should be corrected in MiSiS on the Parent/Guardian Information screen and employee information must be corrected by the employee in the Employee Portal (ess.lausd.net).
- Click on the Message History buttton at the top of the screen. This will display all the messages sent to the student/employee. The list will display with the most recent message at the top.
- Find the most recent message where the mode includes the delivery types being investigated (i.e., phone, email or text). Hover over the message and clcik on the down arrow to the left of the message title. This will display the results for that message.
- For phone, successful deliveries will be indicatedd by Live Deliver or Answering Machine. All other statuses would be considered unsuccessful deliveries.
- For email, successful deliveries would be indicated by Email Delivered or Email Sent. All others would be considered unsuccessful deliveries.
- For text, successful deliveries would be Delivery Confirmed or Sent to Carrier. All others would be considered unsuccessful deliveries.
If the deliveries were unsuccessful, the following are steps the parents/employees can take.
- For opted out phones-call 855 502-7867 from the phone which has been opted out.
- For opted out text messages-text START LAUSD to 91841.
- For opted out emails-please contact the Blackboard Connect Office proving the email address that has been opted out.
- Ensure that the school's phone number is not blocked on the parent's/employee's phone. This may falsely result is the delivery status showing answering machine. To determine the school's number used for the Caller ID, click on Send a Message and the Outreach. The Caller ID appears in the middle of the screen.
- Ensure that the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is not blocked or treated as junk or SPAM. The parent/employee should refer to their email provider (gmail, yahoo, aol) on how to "Whitelist" the email address to ensure it is not being blocked.
- Once the above steps have been performed, the school can send a test message to the parent/employee to confirm that the deliveries are successful.
If after performing the above steps, the parent/employee continues to have issues with receiving communications through Blackboard, please contact the Blackboard Connect Office and provide the specifics. Contact information can be found on the home page.
- Sending Messages with Variables
- Emergency Communications Best Practices
When an emergency or urgent need to communicate is warranted, consider the following when setting up the Blackboard message:
- Send the message as an "Emergency" call type and not "Outreach". This will result in every phone number, email and text number being called by the Blackboard Connect system improving the District's ability to reach the parents/guardians and employees.
- Send the message at the earliest appropriate time giving the parents/guardians and employees as much notification as possible.
- Take advantage of the multilingual capabilities of the Blackboard Connect system to send messages in multiple languages at the same time as opposed to setting up separate messages for each language.
- Have a qualified person do the translation considering their availability and balancing this with how soon the message must go out. If needed, take advantage of the built-in automated translation feature within Blackboard Connect.
- Send the message in all delivery modes including voice, email and text message to provide the best chances of reaching parents/guardians and employees. Text messages are limited to 300 total characters including spaces and punctuation. Begin the text message with the name of the school or local district.
- Parents/guardians or employees who have opted out from receiving voice, email and text messages will receive communications if the call is sent as an emergency call.
- For parents who want to opt back in to receiving calls, they should call 855 502-7867 from the phone on which they were previously receiving calls. To opt back in to receiving text messages, text "START LAUSD" to 23177.
- Need Access to Blackboard Connect?
To obtain your separate Blackboard Connect User ID and Password complete the UserID Request Form.
During the pandemic, please email the form to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and do not fax to the number shown on the form.
- Correcting Errant Calls
The following is the process for removing your phone number from the notification system if you are not associated with LAUSD as a parent or employee. Parents of LAUSD students and LAUSD Employees cannot opt-out of the District notification system.
If You Know the Name of the School Calling You
Contact the school and request that your phone number be corrected in the MiSiS student information system. This information is shared with the notification system daily and should result in no calls being received after 48 hours. Only the school can make changes to student contact data. In addition, if the errant number relates to an employee at the school, the school can communicate with the employee the need to update their telephone contact information at the LAUSD Employee Self Service module (https://ess.lausd.net). If the contact at the school does not make the correction, make the request directly to the Principal. If the school still does not make the correction, direct your concern to the Appropriate Local District (LD).
If You Do Not Know the Name of the School Calling You
Please call (213) 241-0875, listen to the recording and provide the requested information. Messages are retrieved throughout the day and the correction will be processed within 48 hours.
- Receiving Partial Message or Hearing Message Repeat?
It is a rare event that recipients do not hear the entire message live or receive it on their answering machines or voicemail. In the event that they receive a partial message or hear the message restart, it is often caused by ambient background noise or a poor phone connection.
Ambient noise in the background or a poor phone line connection can cause the system to mistakenly identify the recipient as the answering machine outgoing message. When this occurs, the system will interpret the ambient noise or static from a poor connection as a person's voice and will stop playing the message until it no longer detects the interruption at which point the message will restart.
It is recommended that calls are answered in a quiet environment (or that the phone is muted if a noisy environment is unavoidable) and that calls are taken when good cell connections exist.
- Updating Contact Information
Update Student Contact Information
Complete the new Student Emergency Information Form each year to ensure the school has your most current contact information. You can select the phone numbers to use for general, attendance and emergency notifications! To find the new Student Emergency Information Form, please click on the "Families" section from the main LAUSD website (www.lausd.net), then click on the "Forms and Policies" link.
Updating Employee Contact Information|
Updating or correction of employee contact information can only be made by the employee through the Employee Self Service system (https://ess.lausd.net).
- Opt-Out/Opt-In: Blackboard Connect
The Blackboard Connect 5 system has been upgraded to include new features. Individuals receiving calls can now Opt-Out from getting future calls.
- At the end of every message, Opt-Out instructions will be heard. The recipient can press the appropriate number to Opt-Out the phone number on which they are receiving the call. Alternatively, they can dial (855) 502-7867 to Opt-Out.
- This will impact receiving Outreach (general) messages and Blackboard Connect for Teachers messages. It does not impact Attendance or Emergency calls sent by schools, local districts or central district offices. Attendance and Emergency calls directly impact the safety of students and staff and will continue to be delivered by the system.
- If an erroneous call is being made to a non-parent or non-employee, and they have already Opted-Out using the automated system, there is still the potential for them to receive Attendance and Emergency calls. To fully prevent calls from being made to this erroneous number, it must be corrected on the MiSiS Parent/Guardian screen for K-12 schools or the appropriate screen in EESIS and DACESIS for Early Education Centers and Adult schools, respectively. For employees, the correction must occur in the Employee Self-Service system (ess.lausd.net). Deleting the number directly from Blackboard Connect will only be effective for 24 hours or until the next LAUSD data file is received by Blackboard.
- Parents and employees can choose to Opt back into receiving Outreach (general) messages by calling (855) 502-7867 for any phone number that was previously Opted-Out.
- Parents and employees can choose to Opt back in to receiving Text messages by texting "START LAUSD" to 91841.
- For opting emails back in, please contact the Blackboard Office (see Contact Us).
- Blackboard Connect for Teachers messages will also include the same Opt-Out instructions.
- For every text and email message sent, the recipient will also be provided instructions on how to Opt-Out from receiving future messages.
- Blackboard Connect for Teachers-Students Rosters
The Blackboard Connect for Teacher system updates class rosters based upon active students. The rosters are expected to be updated the day after the first day of school. Please check your rosters the following morning to ensure all enrolled students appear. Important Note: To verify class roster, please click on the Send Message tab. Data on the Home tab reflects the last time a message was sent which may be a previous semester.
- Student Data/Teacher Rosters
Please remember that students must have valid notification contact information in MiSiS in order for them to appear in Blackboard Connect and Blackboard Teacher Communication systems. This information should be obtained from the Student Emergency Information Form. Do not enter telephone contact information directly into Blackboard Connect as this will be overwritten the next morning when the District provides a new student file to Blackboard Connect.
If a student is missing from Blackboard Connect or Blackboard Teacher Communications, please check with the person responsible for MiSiS at your site to verify they have the proper information entered in the system. Updates in MiSiS will take 24 hours to appear in Blackboard Connect.
If your school site would like to add users to access the Blackboard Connect system, please complete the UserID Request Form available under Forms within the School Office Resources menu heading. Teachers do not have to complete this form to gain access to Blackboard Connect for Teachers. Please email Paul Ishimaru or Hoa.Do for assistance.