I recently came upon a web-based tool called ClassParrot. This site offers teachers, students, and parents a way to safely communicate about upcoming events and offer reminders without exchanging phone numbers.
All you have to do is sign up your class(es). When you do so, you get a unique number and code that you then share with whomever you would like to receive the alerts. The student (parent, etc.) then texts that number with the unique code to sign up for text alerts from that class.
According to the website, only 22% of emails are opened vs. 98% of texts. All texts sent by you (the teacher) are broadcast to all subscribers of your class. Students may reply to your text, thus opening up two-way communication.
Before you start worrying about keeping track of a bunch of phone numbers (or students having your personal number), stop worrying. Teachers, students, and parents can never see each other's phone numbers. On the teacher side of the deal, all texts sent and received are through the website.
Now for the questions I'm sure is on all of your minds. Price. Teachers receive 500 credits (messages) for free. Every month ClassParrot gives you 200 more credits. There are pay plans, which are very affordable if you don't think that is enough credits for your needs.
And I am here to offer you a great deal (OK...the deal is really from ClassParrot, not me). If you would like to sign up with ClassParrot & accept my invitation (click the linky!), then you will not only receive the 500 free credits, you will also receive 200 bonus credits (as will I!).