Remind101 is one of my favorite finds. A fellow teacher brought this one to me. Remind101 is a free site and an app that allows teachers to send out text or email reminders to parents and/or students without exchange of phone numbers.
So, how does this magic happen? Once you set up your account (again - it's free), you can print out a sheet similar to this:
I have this information posted in my room, on my webpage, and I have printouts for Meet the Teacher Night. I do not require my students or parents to sign up for it, but I encourage it. The great part of this site is that I can text students without them having my number and without me having theirs. Most reminders I send out are at student's request. "Can you send us a reminder for that?"
Thankfully, there is an option to schedule the reminders to go out later in the day. If you are super-organized you could set all reminders up at the beginning of the week. I usually have enough room in my brain to do this the first three weeks of school, then I rely on student requests.
There is a new option to send reminders out to single students or small groups of students of your choosing. I am careful with this. I think there are lines of appropriateness that should not be crossed, and I don't want to venture anywhere near those lines. I can easily send out a reminder that says "A few of you still need to turn in ..." and it is just as effective. It is not possible for students or parents to reply or for you to receive messages from this program, which I also like.
Apps are available on the iPhone and iPad and possibly on other devices. The app makes it easy to send reminders if your computer is being used for something that is difficult to interrupt or if you need to send a reminder while waiting in line at the grocery store. I have been using remind101 for a few years and it is a consistently used tool in my classroom.