Monday, December 11, 2023

App aimed at making school news and events easier to access

The VBSchools app will put school-related information in one place for parents (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)
The VBSchools app will put school-related information in one place for parents (Rami Yoakum/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Trying to work a full-time job and keep track of your child’s school schedules can be, shall we say, challenging.

Beginning this school year parents of children in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools will find it a little easier to access school information relevant to their child, as well as division-wide happenings and events.

VBSchools is an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone from either the Google Play or the Apple App store, and it’ll provide parents with easy access to school calendars, lunch menus, school directories, events, maps, bus routes, and sports schedules.

“Mobile apps have really become the way of communicating today,” said Erica Yelland, coordinator of public relations in the VBCPS Department of Media and Communications. “We want to make sure we are reaching our community through all possible channels.”

For parents who need to add money to their child’s lunch funds or pay a balance, they can do so through SchoolCafe. And, much to the chagrin of some students, using the ParentVue option, parents will have the ability to directly access their child’s grades and progress of various assignments.

Through the app users can also connect to school division news and campaigns, such as We Are VBSchools; Great Dreams Need Great Teachers; The Core – a community blog; as well as links to the school’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The app can also receive “push notifications” that will alert parents of breaking news affecting the school division.

The VBSchools app can also be personalized so that users only receive updates on a selected school.

“One key feature on the VBSchools app is that it allows the user to choose what schools they wish to follow,” Yelland said. “This is especially helpful for parents with children in different schools, because they will be able to track events and activities from both schools in one location.”

The app will also have a “Report It” function, which will allow users to submit anonymous tips that will be sent to Virginia Beach Crime Solvers. Tips may be related to social media threats or simply building maintenance needs.

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