Parents are strongly encouraged to download and install their school's app, as it provides a fast and convenient way for the school to provide notifications about changes in schedule, last minute reminders for school events, closures due to weather, etc. It also allows a parent to keep track of relevant events for their student.
Make sure to allow the app permission to send you push notifications.
School administration and teachers will send out a variety of notifications - some of these may be broadcast to everyone, such as school closures or other alerts; while others may be targeted at a specific course or topic channel in the app.
Depending on your school, there may be a variety of channels for various subjects, clubs, activities or specific classes (ie "English_10", "Grads", etc.). You won't receive alerts for notifications sent to channels you are not subscribed to - Only broadcast messages and those for subscribed channels will show an alert on your phone . Messages for all channels (except private ones you are not subscribed to) are available in the Notifications history in the app.
In addition to push notifications sent out to a particular channel, each channel may also have calendar events such as tests, assignment due dates, etc and news posts that will appear in the app if you are subscribed to that channel.
Some channels may be listed as private. When you try and subscribe to those, you will require an access code provided by the teacher or administrator responsible for the channel.
There is a student switcher available the app which allows you to switch between up to five profiles: four named profiles, and an unnamed default profile. This allows you to enter multiple schedules if you have more than one student in the school.
With the student switcher set as the action for one of the shortcut buttons, switching student profiles is only ever two taps away from the main screen (one to bring up the switcher, the second to choose the student).
One of the core principles of the app is to take every reasonable measure to ensure the maximum possible security and privacy for students. As part of our design philosophy, we therefore do not store individual student information on our servers. While this currently means there is no way to automatically share app information from your student's device to your own - you will need to enter their schedule and subscribe to the relevant channels on your phone - our belief is that this is a worthwhile tradeoff.
Each school app has an accompanying web portal to be used by school administrators, teachers, and others that may be granted access for:
Push notifications provide a fast, efficient way to get short, time-sensitive messages out the students and parents using the app. Notifications can be sent to everyone, or targeted at specific app channels as needed. Notifications can also include PDF, image and video attachments. Examples of notifications could include school closures due to weather, urgent alerts, or a reminder for a permission slip, with a copy of the slip as a pdf attachment.
News bulletins can also be school-wide or targeted at a specific channel. They allow for longer form content (i.e. daily/weekly newsletters), style/formatting, and multiple attachments, but do not pop up an alert on the phone. In addition to authoring news postings through the web portal, school-wide or channel news can be imported automatically from existing sources such as school websites and blogs with available RSS feeds.
As with notifications and news, calendar events can be either school-wide or apply only to subscribers to a particular channel. In addition to adding and editing events through the portal, the app calendars can be linked to existing calendars hosted on Google Calendar or third party calendar providers that make their information available as .ics/iCal links.
Each user account for the portal has its own set of access controls, allowing the school administration to restrict activity (i.e. restrict a teacher from being able to school-wide notifications, or to most channels, but allowing access to the channels for their subjects).
Teachers and administrators whose accounts have permission are able to add new user accounts, reset their password, and change their permissions and designated channels.
Teachers and administrators whose accounts have permission are able configure certain properties of their school's app including contact information, links to related websites, and available channels.
A board-level app portal is also available which supports sending district-wide notifications, or to particular groups of schools, as well as incorporating district-wide news bulletins and calendar events.
For more information on board level support and features, please contact your local Friesens representative.