You can send an email or text message to family members from within Otus. You have the ability to send to a message to a an individual family member or a group of family members.
Article Table of Contents
Creating the Message
➡️ Draft the Message
From the home screen, select Classes
Using the drop down menu, select the desired class (if it's not already selected). You can also multi-select classes to send a message to students from multiple classes.
Enter your message.
➡️ Rich Text Toolbar functions
With the Rich Text Toolbar, you can do the following:
Change the font type and size
Bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, or superscript
Bulleted or numbered list
Center, left, or right align.
Change the font color and highlight.
Hyperlink (click on the ellipsis on the right-edge of the tool bar)
Undo or Redo (click on the ellipsis on the right-edge of the tool bar)
Images can be added by selecting the Add Image button at the bottom next to the Send button.
Links can be added by selecting the hyperlink button in the text editor toolbar (select the ellipsis on the right-edge of the tool bar).
At this time, only images and links are able to be added to Mailbox messages. If you have a document, such as a PDF, you would like to attach, we suggest uploading it to a platform such as Google Drive and including a link to the document.
Sending the Message
Select the family members you wish to send the message to.
Choose Text or Email.
After the email button is toggled on, you will see the option to enter a Subject.
Emails sent from the Mailbox in Otus will go to the family member's active email address linked to their Otus account. They do not receive the message directly within Otus, rather, it is sent to their email inbox.
In the family's inbox, the email will come from the address email@example.com.
When a message is sent from the Otus Mailbox, recipients are unable to see who else the message was sent to.
Family members can respond to emails; the response will go directly to the teacher's email inbox. The responses will be contained in the same email thread.
It might be helpful to have parents add firstname.lastname@example.org to their email contacts to avoid messages being sent to junk or spam.
Text messages only send one way from the phone number (717-200-4638), and are sent 140 characters at a time.
They cannot include pictures
Helpful tip: have family members add the phone number to their contacts so they know these messages are from Otus.
➡️ Send Immediately or Schedule for Later Date
If you want to send immediately, select Send.
If you want to schedule the message for delivery at a later date and/or time, select the date picker below the text entry field. Select the desired date and time from the calendar and time list that is displayed. Select Send.
If a family member replies to an email message sent from the Otus Mailbox, it will go straight to the original sender's email inbox. Mailbox replies are not housed in Otus.
The family's email address will appear with the reply.
The family's reply is only sent to the original sender. It is not sent to the other recipients, and the other recipients are not able to see the individual replies.
If multiple family members reply, each will be added to the same email thread.
Viewing Scheduled and Sent Messages
➡️ Scheduled Messages:
If you want to see the messages that are scheduled for future delivery, select Scheduled.
You can edit the message or scheduled date, view the recipients, or delete the message by selecting the message from the list.
If you delete a scheduled message, it will not send.
➡️ Sent Messages:
If you want to view sent all sent messages, select Sent.
To see the recipients of that message, select the message from the list.
Deleting a sent message simply removes it from your sent list; it does not remove it from the recipient's inbox.
💡 Tip from the Otus Team: It can take up to 10 minutes for sent messages to appear in your Sent folder.
Below is a video from our Otus Live video series on how to send messages to families using the Otus mailbox.
Parents aren't getting the messages I've sent. What do I do? The message is likely in their spam folder. It might be helpful to have parents add email@example.com to their email contacts to avoid messages being sent to junk or spam.
Can families use the Mailbox? Family accounts do not have the Mailbox module in their accounts. If they are sent a message, they can find it in their regular email inbox (like gmail). They can also reply to those messages through their regular email. For more information on how families can use Otus to email teachers, click HERE.
Can co-teachers send messages through the Mailbox? Yes; co-teachers can send messages through the Mailbox to any class they are a co-teacher on. If a co-teacher sends a message, that message will have the co-teacher's name as the sender (not the main teacher, and not the name of the class).
Will co-teachers message's appear in the Sent tab? The main teacher of the class will not be able to see the sent messages from the co-teacher, and vice-versa. When a teacher selects the Sent tab, it will only show the messages sent by them, not by other teachers.
Can administrators send messages through the Mailbox? Yes; administrators can send messages through the Mailbox to any class they have permissions to view. If an administrator sends a message, that message will have the administrator's name as the sender (not the main teacher, and not the name of the class).
Will administrator's messages appear in the Sent tab? The main teacher of the class will not be able to see the sent messages from the administrator, and vice-versa. When a teacher selects the Sent tab, it will only show the messages sent by them, not by other teachers or administrators.