Mobile connections

Published 10:56 pm Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When King’s Fork High School freshman Latoya Thomas can’t make it to a Bulldogs game, she gets updates right on her smartphone.

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King’s Fork High School students Latoya Thomas, Kailyn Phillips and Hannah Atkins plug into their school’s new smartphone app, which updates football scores, gives directions to school events, and much more.

“I like to use (it) to look at scores.” Thomas said of her school’s mobile app. “I didn’t make it to the (season’s) first football game.”

Sophomore Hannah Atkins likes how the new app places important information regarding her school right at her fingertips.

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It has “many updates on sports wins and bus schedules,” Atkins said. “It allows you to have notifications pop up whenever something really important needs to be shared with the community.”

Stenette Byrd, school principal, described the app, introduced to teachers about the third week of August, as “another vehicle to communicate with the students, parents and community.”

“We see that more and more people are interacting with their smartphone apps versus going to websites,” he said.

“It allows me to have a social network in which I don’t have to worry about someone responding. I can send out a message to the community and know everyone has received it.”

SchoolInfoApp customized the app for the school, and it’s downloadable for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Androids, by searching “King’s Fork High.”

Anyone can download it, and Byrd said students’ extended family members and King’s Fork High School alumni — including those living in different states or even overseas — have a lot to gain.

In addition to updating football scores and other news, and allowing Byrd to issue notifications at a moment’s notice, it allows users to view calendars for school events and athletics and other clubs, and add them to their own calendar, and view maps and directions for off-campus events.

Students can source faculty and staff information, access the online gradebook system, see what’s for lunch at the cafeteria, link to important documents and view picture galleries.

Students can also access the My Assignments virtual assignment book, and promote school safety via TipLine.

“I can send out a question of the day,” Byrd said. “As soon as I get the link, I’m going to push out a parent survey on how they feel about the school and ways we can make it better.”

Local business can support the app, and Byrd hopes sponsorship proceeds will also support the school generally.

“If someone from the local community wants to advertise … proceeds come directly back to King’s Fork High School,” Byrd said.

Atkins says the app is user-friendly. “Even my mom uses it, and she’s not technologically savvy,” she said.

“My little brother goes to elementary school and he downloaded it. My grandmother, siblings … all my family just downloaded it.”

For more information about becoming a sponsor, visit www.schoolinfoapp.com or call 318-202-3717.