Belmont secondary is making use of 21st-century technology to improve communication between staff, students and parents, something that was deemed necessary despite the school’s already successful communication channels.
“We’ve been pretty proud of our communication through e-mailing with This Week in the Doghouse (the school’s newsletter), however, it wasn’t reaching the kids,” said principal Ray Miller.
Belmont staff felt the various social media networks – Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter – weren’t professional enough for what they were looking for, and it was decided that the school would launch its very own app.
The brand new digital tool has received some positive early returns, as the app had been downloaded 796 times by the end of the first week of school, receiving good reviews from students for its functionality.
“I think it’s pretty cool. It’s a great organizer for the students,” said student Lance Hall.
“It helps me with my organization,” added schoolmate Drew Rush.
In addition to being able to check basic scheduling and receive school-wide notifications, including daily messages directly from Miller, students are able to subscribe to a variety of channels to receive the latest information on tests, homework and extra-curricular events from their teachers.
Parents who download the app can receive all of this information as well, giving them a better idea of what their children are studying, but also informing them of approaching due dates and tests. “It’ll start opening up even more dialogue (at home),” Miller said, adding that the school’s newsletter has already helped in that regard.
“This will help involve parents (even) more in their kids’ education.”
Miller has frequently championed the new app to students around the school and is encouraging the entire student body to download it. In fact, the second week of September was unofficially labelled “Download the App” week. Over the next few weeks, staff and students will be given quick tutorials on how to get the most out of this new technology.
“It might take a month or even two months to get our community using it as a tool to where they [don’t] even know how they survived without it,” Miller said.