METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – City students, parents and district staff can now stay up to date on the happenings in the public schools with the click of a button on a smartphone.
The district launched a smartphone application earlier this month that allows students, parents and staff to check lunch menus and bus routes, connect with teachers and staff and receive notifications from specific schools. District officials decided a mobile application was the most effective way to stay connected.
“We do everything on our phones now,” said Superintendent Maureen Greulich. “We’re trying to do anything we can to make it convenient and at their fingertips.”
The app, which is free and available in the iPhone and Android marketplaces, features district news, a calendar of district events, contact information for staff members and links to the schools’ social media pages. Families can customize the application to be in their language. About 23 percent of students in the district are English language learners, said Reina Rago, school communications coordinator.
“The district wanted to make sure we had a digital platform,” she said. “It’s doing exactly what our district needs. It’s fantastic that a family can decide what language to get their app in. That’s brilliant.”
The most popular aspects thus far are the district’s top stories and activities calendar, said Greulich.
The application has been downloaded 583 times since it launched Sept. 5. District officials were able to help a handful of residents download the app at last weekend’s Heritage Festival. The district plans to pass out flyers and stickers about the app during football games and other school events, said Greulich.
“We’re looking to double that,” Greulich said of the downloads. “People are starting to use it. We’re pretty excited about the use so far.”
Greulich and Rago received positive feedback about the new app from parents during the Heritage Festival. They hope the app will serve as a valuable communication tool.
“We want to make sure we’re keeping in touch with people,” said Rago. “We know our audience is on the go and don’t all have internet access at home. We made a commitment to invest in a really strong system.”
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.