We are making changes going forward because a couple of services we used before are no longer going to be available without monthly fees. Please read below to learn more about how we’ll be communicating in the future.
1. For text-message alerts: Remind.com
We have a new “hotline” to replace our old one, and you’ll need to join to get text reminders of upcoming events. We’ll use this very sparingly – a few times a week, at most. This is how our Core Team will issue quick messages to the group.
To join the text-message hotline:
- Text @stmhstextsto 81010 to opt into receiving messages, or
- visit https://www.remind.com/join/
stmhstexts and enter your information.
Q: But I don’t want to get a million text messages! Will I get a million text messages? Because I really don’t want to.
A: Rest easy. This service isn’t a group chat. That means that if a message is sent to the whole group and Teresa Avila replies, “got it! What can I bring?” the only people who see her answer are the organizers. You won’t see her reply, even if Teresa is your best friend. So don’t worry that you’re going to exceed your text-messaging plan if you sign up for our hotline. We will not junk up your inbox!
Q: Why did the text message say it was from a teacher? We homeschool. We ARE the teachers.
A: It may sometimes say that the messages are “from your teacher” but that’s because it’s a service originally intended for teachers.
Q: If I don’t have a cell phone, will I miss out on announcements?
A: No. They will also be posted to the Google group. This is like a backup system. You can also view the announcements via the web, I think, but to be honest I’m not quite sure.
Q: WAIT, WHAT GOOGLE GROUP?????
2. For email discussions: Google Group
Now we have a Google group to manage email communications. Your login on ourstmichaelhomeschool.org will still work, in case you want to go back and read through old discussions, but no messages will be posted via the website in the future.
Google groups will let you decide if you want to receive every single message via email, a daily digest, or in batches of 25 messages at a time. By default, it will send you every single message via email.
To join the Google Group:
If you already use Google groups, you can click here to visit the group and request membership. One of us will approve your membership (if you are already a member of our current group).
If you have not been in a Google group before, and/or are terrified by all of these changes, and want us to send you a personal invitation to the group, click here and fill out your name, email address, and explain why you want to join. (You can just say “I am a current member and want to rejoin.”). It may take a few days, but someone from our Core Team will add you to the membership list over there. That means you’ll get an email from Google saying “hey, want to join this group?” and then you can join.
Q: What if I don’t have a Google account? Can I still join the group?
A. Yes. Some email providers don’t work well with Google groups, so you might have to create a gmail account in order to post there. But, in general, you’ll be able to join the group just fine with whatever email address you use.
Q: Can I invite 159 of my closest friends to join the group, too? They might have heard about homeschooling and want to know more.
A: For the next few weeks, while we’re transitioning to the new system, we’ll be happy to have new people join us, but it’s going to take a bit of work to get everything moved over. So we’re happy for you to spread the word, but having a lot of members who don’t participate makes it kind of complicated to know who’s a real person interested in Catholic homeschooling and who isn’t.
Q. What if I never posted anything to the old site, but liked reading about what was going on? Can I still be a member?
A. Yes! But we would like to really work on building connections among our members and helping everyone get to know one another. We are actively looking for new people to do things like schedule field trips, go to park days, organize events, etc., so please jump right in!
Q. What if I completely forgot that I ever joined this site, and do not know why I am receiving this email? How do I cancel receiving emails from this group?
A: We are sorry to see you go, but can certainly understand why you need to move on. If you decide you don’t want to hear any more from us, click here to unsubscribe from this list.
Q. How can I know about upcoming events? Are those still posted to the website calendar?
A. Events will now be posted to a Google calendar, which will also be embedded on our website.
Q. WAIT, WHAT GOOGLE CALENDAR?
3. For events: Google Calendar
We’re now going to use Google Calendar instead of the calendar on our website. I am going to embed the Google calendar on our current website, so if you forget where to find it, you can go back and log into stmichaelhomeschool.org and it will be there.
If you’re a techy person who keeps a digital calendar, you’ll be able to subscribe to this one and events should show up automagically. For now, we’ll reserve the creation of events for our Core Team, and this calendar will be used only for official group events.
Q: What? I don’t get it.
A: If you join the Google group, there will be a link to the calendar from the homepage. You can just click that and see the calendar.
Q: Is this everything I need to know?
A: No, but this is enough for now.
Q: That sounds really ominous, like you are going to tell me about 15 more services I have to sign up for.
A: No, these basic things are enough for general “I know what’s happening”-ness.
Possibly still to come: an option for general chit-chat and last-minute discussions of things, to avoid the “everyone sends a three-word reply via Google group and we all end up with 80 email messages as a result” issue. That will be discussed by our Core Team.
Photos will still be stored at our Flickr account.
This website will remain archived so that people can refer to past messages, etc., and you can access our Google Group and Calendar from here, if you’re signed into the account you use for the Google Group.