Parent and community engagement enhanced with new district mobile app
HUNTINGTON – The latest news and information from schools in the Emery School District are now available on smartphones and mobile devices with a new mobile app. The district is partnering with Blackboard to expand its communications outreach with a mobile app that is available for free in the online iTunes® and Google Play® app stores.
The mobile app will offer a constantly updated feed of district news and events with photos and links to the district’s and each school’s website. The app can also be customized by the user by selecting the schools they are most interested in for news and updates. Authorized users, including parents, will have password access to student grades, attendance, lunch accounts, and other Student Information System (SIS) data. Users can also choose to receive push notifications to get breaking news, updates about school closures, calendar changes, or even sports updates.
According to Superintendent Larry W. Davis, the app has been in development for several months as the District Technology Department has worked with the vendor to streamline the service to best serve stakeholders. “This app provides another way for parents to be more involved in the education of their children,” he said. “In addition to providing instantaneous information, the app will raise the bar of accountability for students, knowing that parents can check their grades and attendance at any time. Of course teachers will be responsible for inputting timely student data while the schools and district office will also need to keep calendars up to date.”
Doug Johnson, district technology supervisor, said of the app, “We know that our students are more successful in schools when parents are engaged in their learning and school activities.” He added, “With our new mobile app, parents and community members can stay connected with our local schools and with the activities our students are engaged in every day.”
To prepare for the launching of the new app, the technology department has held a series of trainings with the district technology committee, district office staff, principals and supervisors, the school board, faculties, community councils, and parents through parent/teacher conferences and other school-level programs.
Development of the app has been part of the technology department’s goal of upgrading communication and other services in the Emery District. Created in 2017, the department has upgraded school technology infrastructure and WiFi capacity in every district school while also upgrading school and district websites. Working with the District Technology Committee and the District Teaching and Learning Grant Program, the department has been able to generate a 5-year technology plan that includes 5-year plans for each school. To facilitate advancement of technology in the district, administrators recently completed Blended Learning Training that will help each school integrate technology with research-based effective teaching practice for improved student academic outcomes.
For additional information about this app, call the district office at 435-687-9846.