At a National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) conference earlier this year, CMS Assistant Principal Peg Gillard (recently honored for thirty-five years of service to CSD) spoke with a representative from SchoolInfoApp about the possibility of creating an app for CMS that could be used to strengthen and diversify communications and outreach efforts. She later took the idea to the district’s administration for further discussion.
The app, which is designed for Android® and iOS®, can be downloaded for free by scanning a QR code.
“CMS felt strongly that the possibilities this app afforded in communication with parents, guardians, grandparents, extended family, and community members were great and worth the initial cost,” Ms. Gillard said. And to offset its annual $1,000 cost, CMS is looking for local businesses to advertise with a live banner on the app.
Any information that CMS can send to parents now using the new Power Announcement system can be delivered through this new app—reminders about upcoming events with interactive maps and calendars, access to school contacts, assignment tracking, game cancellations, important updates and notifications, anonymous reporting to school administration, and so on.
“I believe that this app will be truly useful for many folks, not just parents,” Ms. Gillard said. “Community members can find out what is happening in schools, and relatives who might be planning to attend a game will be able to get a map on their phones to where the game is being played or know if the game is cancelled without someone else having to call them. Parents can connect to important homework information while they are away from a computer. And with the business banners, parents could touch a banner and call to order dinner or make a car appointment! The app has many resources for parents, students, and community members. We will continue to update it and welcome ideas for ways to improve and evolve the app.”
If successful, there is the possibility that similar apps may be included for other schools and potentially town departments in the future.
Two of the pathways of the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 are Technology Infrastructure and Integration and Commitment to Effective Communication—and CMS’s new app certainly fits with them.
For more information, please contact Peg Gillard at (802) 264-5800, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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