School keeps parents app-dated

New Town: A mobile phone app that updates parents about all that is happening in class and allows them to communicate with teachers and the administration. Seems unreal? Well, not anymore. A city school has introduced just such an app.

The Newtown School's app can be downloaded on Android and iOS smartphones. Parents can log in with their registered mobile phone numbers after keying in a password.

Class work, homework and attendance records are updated regularly on the app. The school also sends out notices and circulars through the app.

Several working parents are of the opinion that the app allows them to stay connected with the school despite not being able to go to the campus regularly.

The school has a website but the officials claim the app is a more interactive and personalised platform.

"We are using technology to stay connected with parents, making it easy for them to communicate with us. The app provides them an option to apply for leave or send out a request to the administration directly. They can also attach a doctor's certificate if required," said Sunil Agarwal, the founder-director of the school.

Parents can also see the students' marks on the app. Homework and class work are updated either daily or every week.

The school's eight-member IT team runs the app. "The teachers send an email to the IT team who upload the content," said Agarwal.

Parents said they get constant notifications that help them to keep a tab on what is happening in school.

Debarati Mukherjee, whose daughter is in lower kindergarten, finds the app to be a handy tool.

"We keep getting updates. For example, I came to know about the dress code for Diwali through the app. I do not have to wait till I get back home and can check my daughter's diary, I get all the information while I am at work," said Mukherjee, a web developer who has used the app to send emails to teachers. "The teacher also responded to the email," she said.

The school feels a WhatsApp group is not a substitute for such an app because an app allows one-to-one interaction with the school without making it public.

"If we have a WhatsApp group, a parent can decide to defame the school publicly. But here we can listen to the parents' grievances and also address them without unnecessarily attracting attention," said a school official.


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