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Berlin Community School launches app

The new app launched in October, and allows parents to more easily than ever before view their children’s performance and participation in school

In what is becoming an increasingly more advanced world driven by technology, Berlin Community School has launched a new app to connect parents with their children’s education.

After beginning its development in late June this past summer, the app went live at the end of September. The app was created, in part, due to responses from parents through surveys given each fall and spring.

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One of the questions on the survey asked parents how they preferred to receive information; the answer was, not surprisingly, online. In response, the district developed the app in order to more easily and quickly get information to parents about their children, increasing accessibility.

“We wanted to increase communication with our families,” Berlin Borough School District Superintendent Dr. Kristen Martello said. “And we find that at this point, everybody has their phones; it seems to be the number one tool that everybody is using.”

Previously, the number one way the district would communicate with families was through email. However, after updating the website this past summer, the new website opened up the perfect opportunity to make the technological jump.

“As we researched the different platforms, we found that our current website was able to link and we could do this app,” Martello said. “And so we spent the entire summer working on this project and cleaning it up.”

The app is updated regularly with new information regarding every aspect of the district, such as news and photos from events around the school, as well as the borough, if it could affect children’s routes to school, for example.

More interactively, parents can log into the “Genesis” system individually using their child’s student information and see their child’s progress and happenings in school.

Viewable to parents through the app is their child’s schedule, grades, attendance, checked out library books, account info for their lunch account and more. Notifications can be turned on for a myriad of reasons, such as for when a child misses an assignment or a class reaches below an overall grade.

More widely, parents can find all sorts of information regarding the school, from their child’s performance, to school news, to athletic information and more.

The app is just in its beginning stages and Martello says that administration will continue to work on improving the app as time goes on.

“We’re excited about it, parents can even go in and rate the app,” Martello said. “We’ll continue to keep receiving feedback. We keep working with it to improve on it but it’s definitely increased communication.”

For example, one upcoming feature that they hope to include is enabling teacher comments for parents to see. Teachers can already make viewable comments for students to see on their Genesis account, however that is not yet viewable on the app. Such an addition would give teachers the ability to more easily let parents know, for example, due dates for certain student assignments.

The app can be downloaded from Apple or Android devices in app stores under the name Berlin Community School.

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