Florida Keys News
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
There's an app for that
School first to embrace new technology

Many local teachers and school administrators consider cell phones and other "portable electronic devices" to be a distraction to their students, and a nuisance. One school in the district, however, is embracing the new technology, with its very own application, or "app" as it is commonly known.

The Sugarloaf School SchoolInfoApp was created through a partnership with SchoolInfoApp LLC, of Ruston, La., and works on all iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. It can be found in the app download store of such devices.

The app "enables parents, students, alumni, faculty and staff to quickly access all of the who, what, when and where for Sugarloaf School," according to a press release sent out by the school.

With the app, users can opt-in to receive push notifications, keep up with the latest news and information, view calendars for general events, athletics, clubs and school organizations, add events and calendars to the device's calendar or share calendars, view a map of event locations, and find directions to off-campus events.

Users can also search for faculty and staff contact info, locate important documents and other media, and access quick links to school menus, the online grade book system, and more.

Also included in the app are tools such as "My Assignments," a virtual assignment book that pupils can access to keep up with their homework, upcoming tests and projects, including the due date, and priority level, and the "TipLine," which allows students to make anonymous reports of bullying, "academic integrity concerns," or other activity, such as on-campus criminal acts.

"It is with great pleasure that we can now offer this app to our parents and stakeholders to help us increase our communications about Sugarloaf School in a 21st Century way," Sugarloaf Principal Harry Russell said.

To help offset the $499 cost of the app, the school is able to sell advertising space to sponsors.

"Each time a sponsor signs up, a portion of the proceeds is credited back to the school to cover the cost of the service," said Jordan Riggs, the CEO of SchoolInfoApp LLC. "The app is really designed to make life easier for anyone affiliated with the school. My wife and I are the designers of the app, and we're parents first and foremost. We designed the whole platform so as to be able to keep up with everything that's going on with school, where we all want that information to be, these days, which is, on our phones."

tschmida@keysnews.com

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