It is not often that a person can get something for nothing that will help make their lives less complicated, but thanks to the Sedalia School District 200 and changes to its communications systems, sending and receiving information about the schools has been made much easier.
“We’ve found a really user-friendly way to help parents, students and patrons stay connected to the school,” Bob Satnan, communications director for the district, said. “It is a complete communication hub for the district.
“We know that for most individuals the way they are getting a majority of their information is with their handheld devices,” Satnan said. “This is a way we can be better connected.”
The district provided information on the app’s features to the media at Monday’s Board of Education meeting.
The free app has several new features, including a top stories feature that lists the five most recent social media posts that include graphics.
The streaming post provides a running collection of the district’s social media posts and the calendar will feature the event data in one location.
“There is also a feature called notifications,” Satnan said. “It pushes out information that the district wants to share but does not merit a call or email or text to our mass audience.
“We will continue to send information about things such as a delayed start time or cancellation of school through our normal venues,” Satnan added. “This just provides us with another option to get the word out.”
One major change to this format is that it is available to anyone who signs up for the app even if their child is not enrolled in the Sedalia District.
“In the past only students and parents in the district could receive our information,” Satnan said. “Now, anyone can.”
Satnan was quick to point out that although others can access the app only parents would have access to the parent portal website.
“Although the parent portal will be available through the app, it is a protected feature,” Satnan said. “The only way it can be accessed is with the individual student code that is given to the parent.”
A tips line has also been created. Users can submit positive information to the building principals, but it is also a way to alert them of concerns.
The tips must include the name of the person submitting the information and their contact information. All submitted information is confidential.
“The tips line is a great resource tool to allow praise and pats on the back,” Satnan said. “We also realize that we can’t be everywhere and so the tip line provides sets of eyes and ears to make the principals more aware of things that are happening in their buildings.”
Individuals who sign up for the app will find they can choose the schools they wish to receive information about.
“One of the great features of the app is when you download it you can select different schools,” Satnan said. “There is also the option to choose all district schools. Individuals can change those options at any time.”
The district is also working on a complete redesign of its website and hopes to launch it in October. To sign up for the free app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play and search Sedalia.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484