Connecting with Students & Families, Especially on Remote Learning Days

mother and daughter working learning remotely

Whether you’re hosting virtual meetings on Zoom, using your personal cell phone to call families, or engaging with families through BrightChat, our instant messaging app, please keep reading for helpful hints and guidance on connecting with students and families. And, as always, if ever you’re in need of technical support, please contact the Service Desk at 434-975-9444 or

Zoom for Video Meetings

For video conferencing on remote learning days, Zoom is the school division’s adopted tool. As a teacher, when you use your ACPS Zoom account to host video meetings, you and your students can have a safe and consistent experience.

If you are new to the division, or if you have never signed in to Zoom, you should sign in to Zoom the first time using the SSO Portal and your standard ACPS credentials to receive a licensed account. Each time after your initial SSO Portal login, you may sign in using Google (with your standard ACPS credentials) from any device with Zoom installed. A Zoom license will guarantee you unlimited time for your meetings.

Staff who have been using Zoom and do not have a licensed account may open a ticket requesting a license. You can check your account status in the Zoom app by clicking on the top-right profile icon and looking for either “Basic” or “Licensed” next to your email address.

Our Zoom support site has several resources available to you. If you need support using Zoom, please reach out to your school’s assigned LTI.

Communicating by Phone

If you need to use your personal cell phone to communicate with a family, you can mask your personal number by entering *67 before dialing.

Please note: The call will display as “No Caller ID,” and since your cell phone number and name will not display, it would be best to make sure the person knows you are going to be calling.

BrightArrow for Teachers

BrightArrow is the ACPS-approved mass communication tool for teachers. One component of BrightArrow is BrightChat, which allows teachers to message families using instant messaging through an app. BrightChat also allows messages between teachers and families to be automatically translated according to the family’s home language in PowerSchool, with no additional settings that need to be configured by teachers or staff! To learn more about BrightArrow for Teachers, please visit our BrightArrow Support page or go directly to our BrightArrow for Teachers course in Schoology.

If your school would like to onboard BrightArrow for Teachers, please talk with your principal and contact SIS Support.