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York schools add mobile app, Facebook

To communicate more frequently and faster with parents and the community, the York school district has launched a new mobile phone app and a Facebook page.

Ray Stemmer, director of technology, said the free app is available for Apple mobile products, such as iPhones and iPads, and Android devices, but not Windows-based devices.

The app and the Facebook page are both searchable under York School District One, and include the district logo, he said.

Stemmer said the app was recently added to a package of products available from SchoolMessenger, which provides the district’s automated phone messenger system. The district was able to add the app at no extra cost.

“With the phone app, we can reach even more people, because we don’t have to have them in our database,” he said, referring to the listing of parents. “We are hoping this will bring a level of communication that we haven’t had previously.”

York joins many other local school districts looking for ways to better communicate with students, parents and the community.

The York app updates from Facebook, and each York school will also have its own Facebook page, Stemmer said. Some of those are already running, such as Cotton Belt Elementary and York Middle School.

“We are always looking for ways to increase our communication, not only with our parents, but also with our community at large,” he said.

Superintendent Vernon Prosser said the communication will be especially helpful in inclement weather.

“That’s the way the world is moving now, and the electronic format is a quick way to communicate,” Prosser said.

The app allows users to access information about school calendars, lunch menus, athletic events, school board meeting agendas and minutes, a school district directory, maps, school listings and school Web pages.

Parents also can use a portal to access Power School, where they can use a secure log on to see their child’s classes, grades and attendance record, he said.