Wichita school district rolls out mobile app

11/04/2013 11:41 AM

11/04/2013 8:44 PM

The Wichita school district has launched a mobile app to help connect parents, students and others to district resources.

The app is free and available for Apple and Android devices. To download it, search for “Wichita Public Schools” in the App Store or Google Play, or go to www.mobileapp.usd259.org.

The app allows users to check students’ grades and attendance, access district or school calendars, make payments to student meal accounts and more. Users can customize the app to follow particular schools or feeder patterns.

“The great thing is, schools don’t have to do any additional work,” said Wendy Johnson, spokeswoman for the Wichita district. “We’ve tried very hard to create an app that pulls from existing resources.”

Users can sign up for ParentLink notifications, such as those that announce weather-related school closings, reminders of school picture days and parent-teacher conference information. Someone who owns a business near a school could sign up for that school’s notifications to keep up with news or special events, Johnson said.

A “Have a Voice” button on the app allows users to send tips or feedback – including photos – to district officials.

“We know that folks have lots of opinions, lots of questions, and we want to hear them,” Johnson said. “If someone wants to take a picture of something they think is really awesome or something they think needs to be improved, they can snap a picture, send it through their mobile device.”

On Monday, links from the district app to ParentVue and My Payments Plus took users to those websites instead of the more user-friendly mobile interfaces. Johnson said the district plans to roll out a fix for that in coming weeks.

“We’re really hopeful that as people have a chance to explore the mobile app that we’ll get some great suggestions of features that folks would like to see added,” she said.

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