Parents in Community School District 11 can now have more information about their childs’ school right at their fingertips.
The district superintendent, Maria Lopez, just launched a mobile application to bring school communication to parents’ smartphones.
The app, designed by WhizFish Innovations and available for both Apple and Android phones and tablets, is the first district-wide app implemented in the New York City Department of Education.
Features include contact information for schools and administrators who can be reached email or a voice recording, as well as school news and schedules.
The goal of the app is to increase opportunities for communication between the administrators and parents, and get parents more engaged in the schools. Parent engagement is one of the DOE chancellor’s Four Pillars of education, and Lopez agrees that when parents are involved in the schools, everyone benefits.
“I strongly believe parents are our best partners,” said Lopez.
Lopez first introduced the use of an app for school communication while she was principal of I.S. 318, and through its use saw an increase in parents reaching out to her.
“I know that it works,” said Lopez.
It works because while the app offers a large amount of information about the schools, its simple to navigate.
“It’s easy to handle and parent-friendly,” she said.
Most importantly, it facilitates direct communication with administrators, said Lopez, including herself. She hopes to see a large number of parents downloading the application and an increase in parents connecting with her and the district’s principals.
That direct line to the superintendent is something that is new for the district and is very welcomed, said Community Education Council president Pamela Johnson.
“This kind of communication we’ve never had before,” said Johnson.
It’s a great way to utilize cell phones and move school communication into the modern era, she said.
“Having a mobile app is different and creative,” said Johnson. “I’m glad this CEC can be at the forefront of technology.”
To download the app from iTunes or Google Play stores, search ‘NYC CSD 11.’