Mobile app brings new communication tool for FSSD parents, community

The top 40 volunteers from FSSD’s eight schools were recognized Monday night at the Board of Education meeting.
– by John McBryde

FROM: Franklin Homepage


It’s no secret that parents lead busy lives, and for those who have children in a school in the Franklin Special School District, there is now an app for that.

The district launched a mobile app about a month ago that’s tailor-made for parents and other FSSD stakeholders, and its features were presented at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting at Poplar Grove Elementary School.

“The point of the app was to provide another communication tool with a community that’s constantly on the go and in their car or at the soccer field or baseball field or wherever,” said Susannah Gentry, FSSD director of communications who helped research and develop the app. “Looking for information about the school, they can pull it up quickly; they can activate quickly, and the idea is to work smarter not harder. So it’s pulling all content from things we are already monitoring and supervising.

“We think it’s a great communication concept.”

Gentry worked with Drew Bingham, FSSD database manager, in making the app accessible for parents.

Among its many features are a calendar of events; information on school athletics; Skyward, parents’ portal to grades and other details on their children’s school life; meal viewer for checking out daily menus at each school; and a multi-functioning activity screen.

“The thing that I love about the activity screen is, it’s what you would normally get on your social media streams on your own, but it’s completely filtered out everything except the school and the district,” Gentry said. “You’re not having to scroll the whole screen to find the last feed from Freedom Middle or Moore Elementary or whatever… That’s a handy feature.”

The app also includes a tip line where users can provide feedback on general information or offer kudos, or they can send tips about a safety concern or potential incidents of self-harm or suicide, various threats, or weapons and drugs.

Board members got down to business as well at Monday’s meeting, voting to approve five policy revisions: scheduling and routing and bus safety and conduct on second reading, and tobacco-free schools, special use of school vehicles and sick leave on first reading.

In addition, the district’s top 40 volunteers for the current school year were recognized with a special presentation.

Honored were:

Franklin Elementary — Caroline Beauchamp, Nicole Clark, Lori Jones, Cheryl Kidd, Sara Sweitzer

Johnson Elementary — Betty Bringer, Barbara Craft, Amanda Lyddane, Paula Sherman, Holly Spain

Liberty Elementary — Jennifer Brinkman, Jennifer Dilling, Courtney Hunnicutt, Shannon Pellatiro, Mandy Weekes

Moore Elementary — Rodney Espiritu, Elizabeth Fellows, Lupita Guzman, Joy Howard, Jennifer Thorington

Poplar Grove Elementary — Rachel Crawley, Shay Hall, Christy Pauley, Susan Phelps, Margaret Jane Strelecki

Freedom Intermediate — Candace Chang, Terri Coffman, Maygan Lanigan, Liz McClain, Devon Mencke

Freedom Middle — Elizabeth Bledsoe, Sheree Grow, Jenny Szulczewski Jones, Devon Mencke, Emily Newton

Poplar Grove Middle — Jenny Baer, Kelly Morphy, Annie Osteen, Jenni Rodgers, Carissa Zelnick

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