|By Chelsea Katz, Kilgore News Herald, Texas|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The app uses the mobile-friendly version of SISD's website, so anything the district puts on the website will automatically be available through the smartphone app. About half of the total web traffic is generated by a mobile device, SISD Technology Director
"We thought it would be beneficial to have an app to better communicate with our parents, with our staff (and) with our students," he said. With everything in one place, that minimizes the need to get to the website using a browser on phones.
People can select updates from a specific campus so they are get only information useful for them. District events and other helpful links to different departments are included in the app, such as transportation and food services. Lunch money accounts are currently included as a link in the app, but, Cox said, the mobile version of that page is still under construction.
The app not only makes information easier to access, but also, people can sign up for "push" notifications -- information will be sent to a person's phone, even when they are not actively using the app or the phone at that moment.
Notifications will be sent when in a variety of situations such as when school schedules change, the school is closed for some reason or if there is an emergency. The call system and phone trees will still be used, but this allows for another notification method. "This is in no means taking the place of any of that," Cox said. The speed at which people get the notification, though, depends on each person's cell coverage, he clarified.
Although the app -- hosted by Schoolwires, which also hosts the website -- works best for iPhone users, Cox said, Schoolwires is working to get the bugs out of the version available in the Google Play store.
"It's still a little bit of a work in progress, but as of right now it does most of what we wanted it to do," Cox said. "And then we'll continue to improve it."
Cox will present the app to staff members later this month.
As the last action item on the agenda, the SISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a maintenance and operations tax rate of
After the bond issue, Director of Business Operations
With the two proposed, the levy will be a little less than
"Overall, dollar wise, it's not a great change," Yandell said.
The board approved the trustee election on
Board members had a chance to review the student handbook during the