The St. James School District is keeping up with their push for more technology in the district by implementing a new smartphone app for parents and community members.

The St. James School District is keeping up with their push for more technology in the district by implementing a new smartphone app for parents and community members.

The app, which can be downloaded for free, serves as a central district hub, allowing users to stay up to date with the St. James schools. Charity Satterfield, the district’s communications coordinator, said the staff is excited to start using the app to get others involved in the schools.

“We wanted it to be a convenient, central place for families, students, staff and community members to stay informed about what’s happening in each building and across the district,” Satterfield said.

Satterfield explained the app will be constantly updated with a feed of district events and photos, and important information. The app can be customized for different users by selecting specific schools on which to receive updates.

One of the most important features of the app is the ability to receive instant notifications in the event of school closures. There’s also a calendar change. The app can even be set to send users sports updates during the regular season. Satterfield said Facebook and Twitter are also integrated into the app, and she hopes others will become more engaged with the district, by using the app.

The app was designed to specifically cater to the needs of the community, and Satterfield explained they went directly to parents and community members to find exactly what they wanted out of this service. They asked others what they felt to be important and what features they would like to see.
Some of the top suggestions included the ability to look up cafeteria menus, view district calendars, and most importantly, the capability to receive important notifications immediately.

“We tried to put all those pieces into place,” said Satterfield.

The app also has a “tip line” where anonymous reports on bullying, drugs, and other emergencies can be made. “Good things” can be sent anonymously as well.

Those without a child in the school district are still encouraged to download the app to stay informed on what is going on in the St. James district so they can more easily become involved.

“We tried to put all those pieces into place,” said Satterfield.

Satterfield said that “students are more successful when parents and community members are engaged in their learning school activities.”

Using this new smartphone app is the latest in the technological push the district has been engaged in. At the same time, the school is also working on spreading their current tech resources. Assistant Superintendent Catchy Wells said the school is trying to “push down” technology to younger grades. As the district receives new machines, they take the older ones and give them to younger students so they are better prepared for what they will be doing once they reach high school.

Even with school out of session, community members and parents can stay involved with the district by downloading the app and staying informed.