4 Innovative Tools To Transform Your School With A Custom App

  • By Zuben Bastani
  • 29 Jul, 2015
In the tech driven world we live in today, it is shocking how many schools still lack a means of mobile communication. Almost every industry is stocked with mobile solutions and apps, but in education they're rare. This is about to change. Your students and their parents have smartphones, as do you and your faculty. Why aren’t you putting them to use?

A mobile app for your educational institution will make the lives of your families and faculty easier. Streamlining every day processes lattendance taking, parent/student notifications, reward system management, and much more, you can turn a typical school into an innovative tech savvy institution.

Push Notifications
•Implement an easy to use system for notifying students, parents, and faculty
•Manage your notifications across iOS, Android, Facebook, and Twitter
•Target specific groups of users based on the notification
•Provide users with easy updates and important information instantly
•Develop a reliable notification system

Reward System
•Implement a mobile system to reward families for activities such as attendance
•Manage your students’ reward activity via your mobile device
•Develop different levels of perks to better reward your most improved students
•Provide families and students with incentives to participate
•Increase student attendance and decrease attendance conflicts

Mobile Scheduling
•Implement a scheduling system for events such as parent teacher conferences
•Manage appointments with a beautiful built-in calendar
•Receive notifications via email when appointments are scheduled
•Provide parents with easy appointment management
•Book more meetings and increase show up rates

Custom Forms
•Implement custom forms to gather pertinent information
•Manage mobile submissions via email
•Receive requested information from students, parents, faculty, etc
•Provide a simple process for gathering information
•Build rapport with students, parents, and faculty

 These are just a few ideas to move your school into a more productive organization.   Contact us  to learn how we can tailor an app to work best for your school.
By Laura Johnson 06 Jul, 2017

Registration season is upon us, and over the last few years we’ve seen little progress in how most schools approach registration. Even more challenged are those schools serving high risk or low income students because of families’ inability to be present and because of multiple languages. We wanted to share how some of our schools are improving the experience for their families, reducing time for their staff, and increasing enrollment results.

Registration Tips

#1 - Promote events online through the web, emails, school mobile app, social media, and local news to attract families to visit your school and see if it’s a good fit for them. The more communication channels, the more likely you’ll reach your target. Everyone has a preferred method of receiving notifications and news, and it may not be the traditional ones like the postal mail. Many families don’t have Internet access at home, and rely on their smartphones to stay in touch.

#2 - Keep families in the loop with upcoming deadlines and open houses. With those messages, introduce staff and teachers that families will meet during open houses.

#3 - Provide videos online for those who can’t attend the open house.

#4 - Streamline the registration process, allowing families to register from home. This method is especially helpful with high risk students. If there’s a fee with registration, simplify school payments using the web site or school app.

#5 - Send notifications to families about what to expect on the first day, where to go, what to bring, and to which teacher(s) their student has been assigned. The more families know, the more comfortable they’ll feel.

#6 - Follow up with partial registrations or students who enrolled last year but haven’t registered yet and move them along to the next step.

These steps help ensure that all families receive the information needed to successfully register their student.

By Laura Johnson 12 Jun, 2017

Summer learning loss is one of the most significant causes of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth and one of the strongest contributors to the high school dropout rate, according to the National Summer Learning Association. Flyer's focus on access and equity led them to help Gust Elementary in Denver curb summer reading loss.  Gust families can use their app to access dozens of Unite eBooks wherever they are. "I can send reminders to families and see they're accessing the eBooks," says Katie Harlfinger, Teacher Librarian/School Tech Rep. "All of our app push notifications are sent out in English and Spanish to help our English Language Learners." Families access the eBooks through the school app while they’re in waiting rooms, stuck in traffic, or wrapping up the end of the day at work. What’s more important is the books can read themselves to the family in several languages. Students can see the words in English, for example, and hear them in Spanish.  

By Laura Johnson 05 Jun, 2017

Centennial Academy of Fine Artsof Littleton Public Schools communicates directly with families to increase and organize volunteers using Flyer. Parents receive volunteer requests, respond to them, and log their volunteer hours, all on their phones.

“I have used the Flyer School App in two different schools and it has made a great impact on our ability to communicate better with all families,” says Karla Gruenwald, Principal. “Our parent community has provided positive feedback on the app and loves getting real time communication via the app and push notifications.”

By Laura Johnson 24 May, 2017

When Sandoval Elementary strove to improve office efficiency and communication to parents, they turned to Flyer app push notifications.

Sandoval, a Denver Public School, posts messages regarding events, closures, and lockdowns to parents’ phones. Parents also quickly access the calendar and connect with teachers.

Attendance reporting has greatly improved at Sandoval. Before Flyer, parents called attendance voicemail. “We had trouble understanding a lot of the messages,” said Maria Alvarez, Sandoval Main Office Secretary. Now 75% parents send an email from their phone to attendance, improving accuracy and efficiency.

Lockdown communications also improved. Alvarez used to scramble to print post-lockdown notices and set up a robocall. If the robocall reached a parent’s voicemail it would only leave a partial message and parents called the office back for clarification. Now it’s an automated push notification. In one instance the lockdown occurred at the end of the day. Parents received the notification and stayed in their cars until the lockdown ended.

Whether it’s a daily update or a school emergency, Sandoval has improved communications with the Flyer app. “Parents love it,” said Alvarez, “because they have the information at their fingertips.”

By Zuben Bastani 24 Oct, 2016
October is arguably one of the most important months this school year. The Colorado Department of Education designates an October date for each district the Official Pupil Count Date for 2016.                  

Several Flyer schools used their school apps to send push notifications to parents. Several schools used their app banners to promote their count day.  Flyer schools who did use their apps reached their goals and some even qualified for additional funding!

Have a goal to meet this fall? Just send us a note or give us a call .
By Zuben Bastani 14 Sep, 2016
Like many working mothers, Liz Wolfson is typically in a hurry, rushing to get her children ready for school and then heading off to work. The beginning of the school year is especially hectic.  “I’m the busy mom who doesn’t complete her forms until the last minute,” she said.

One morning in August, she was dropping off her two children at the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School when she was reminded she hadn’t yet turned in registration forms.

“They handed me an iPad that had the school app downloaded on it,” she said. “I completed forms for two children and was on my way to work within 15 minutes.”
Wolfson downloaded the school’s app onto her phone. She simply tapped a few buttons on her phone and the app appeared.
“I was impressed that there were no lengthy logins or other prerequisites to use the app,” Wolfson said. She so impressed, in fact, that she plans to launch a mobile app at the Girls Athletic Leadership School in Denver, where she is the director.
Ashley Ennis, who works in the front office at the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, said the mobile app has been hugely popular with families, citing ease and convenience as its best attributes. Parents receive text reminders, check lunch menus and access forms.

“It’s easy. It cuts down on time and paperwork. We love it,” Ennis said.
By Zuben Bastani 01 Jul, 2016
Throughout the country, school staff members are realizing how effective QR codes can be to reach out to parents and school communities. “It’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to connect with the family. Parent engagement is an important part of ensuring the success of students,” said Monica Burns, ClassTechTips.com  blogger, and Curriculum and EdTech Consultant.
QR codes are one of the many features of our school apps. They are simple to implement and offer great information to schools. We have schools in Denver using them to gauge attendance at parent meetings and to award prizes for attendance.
“One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the integration of scannable technology is the opportunities it affords all stakeholders in the community,” Burns said. Read more from Burns.
Let’s talk about how to use a QR code at your school. Just send us a note or give us a call .
By Zuben Bastani 04 Apr, 2016
http://www.5280.com/news/education/digital/2016/03/6-winners-emerge-dps-imaginarium-design-challenge

"...through the design challenge, a smartphone app called Montclair Post  was developed at Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment. The school has an average 50-plus languages mingling together, which makes communication with parents difficult. This app was designed to translate in real-time, breaking that barrier. Now the app is being rolled out in other schools."
By Zuben Bastani 24 Mar, 2016
DCIS at Fairmont is a highly diverse school. Many families don't have home internet, consistent phone numbers / emails or speak fluent english.   They do have smartphones.

To connect, their families simply download the free Fairmont app for their iOS or Android phone or tablet. No login, password or registration is required which increases usage and interaction.

Families are instantly connected to receive news, notifications and have access to school, PTO, district and extras tools in their native language!
By Zuben Bastani 22 Feb, 2016
Denver, CO   – CO Impact Days and Initiative announced today the 60 social ventures that are invited to meet face to face with investors in order to seek millions of dollars of “impact investments” at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase on March 4, 2016.  
 
Flyer School App by Propel Mobile, LLC, a for-profit startup providing mobile school apps for families is among the finalists chosen from more than 280 applicants.
 
Flyer was selected to participate within the Education and Early Childhood track among twelve other social ventures. Flyer addresses the challenge schools have communicating with families. Flyer focuses on consistently and successfully reaching families through their smartphones and tablets which improves family engagement and thus, boosting student achievement in participating schools.
 
The 60 ventures will convene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) for the first-of-its-kind, statewide marketplace for impact investing. The chosen social ventures will have the opportunity to showcase their ability to provide a return on the impact investor's investment while improving Colorado communities to more than 200 accredited investors.
 
The goal of CO Impact Initiative is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days on March 2-4.   CO Impact Days   encourages a new breed of impact investors and community members to   Learn. Connect. Invest .
CO Impact Days’ innovation is uniquely possible here because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors, philanthropists, and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs while ensuring our state remains one of the best places to work, live, and play in the U.S.  
 
# # #
 
About Flyer by Propel Mobile, LLC
Flyer was created by the parent of elementary aged kids. Frustrated by the fragmented means of communication by elementary schools including flyer-stuffed-backpacks, emails, auto-dialers, teachers notes, and inaccurate recounts by kindergartners, Zuben Bastani’s goal was to create a mobile app that is a one-stop-shop for school information and communication. With the touch of a button, parents have access to everything they need to know about their kids’ school day and school administrators can confidently communicate important information to families. Zuben’s vision extends further than convenience. Flyer is built to reach all families, regardless of income, neighborhood, or language. Flyer apps reach all families regardless of home internet access, email, consistent phone numbers or unreliable paper announcements. Flyer aims to streamline school and parent interaction, increase family engagement and ultimately benefit student achievement rates. For more information visit FlyerSchoolApp.com or contact Zuben at  zuben@flyerschoolapp.com .  
 
About CO Impact Days and Initiative
CO Impact Days is the first of its kind effort to create a statewide marketplace for impact investing; identifying, connecting, and celebrating Colorado's top social ventures and impact investors from the Western Slope to the Front Range. CO Impact Days’ will to bring together Colorado’s top 60 social ventures, 200 impact investors, and 500+ community members to Learn. Connect. Invest. For more information or tickets, visit www.coimpactdays.org   or contact Molly at   molly@coimpactdays.org .

CO Impact Initiative, created by the Impact Finance Center and led by Dr. Stephanie Gripne and a steering committee of community leaders is a 3-year strategy to elevate and accelerate impact investing in Colorado, catalyzing the flow of $100 million in investment capital into Colorado social ventures that deliver positive impact on the state’s communities, economy and natural environment.
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