On April 27, the Pleasant Valley School District’s student-led HOPE initiative assisted with the launch of the eSchoolPLUS Family App for district students and their families. The effort, which supports the Pleasant Valley School District mission, Excellence in Education: A Community Commitment, was highlighted at the annual K -12 Academic Fair, held Monday, April 27, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley High School. Assisting the HOPE student ambassadors with the launch event was SunGard K-12 Education, the national software solutions and services provider that developed the Family App.
The genesis of this initiative occurred in October 2014, when four student ambassadors of the HOPE initiative were invited presenters at the School Leadership Conference, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and Pennsylvania School Boards Association. The team of students—who were accompanied by Pleasant Valley Superintendent Carole M. Geary, a school board official, and two senior administrators—shared insights about their highly successful initiatives to spread the messages of hope and positivity throughout Pleasant Valley with officials and board members of districts throughout the Commonwealth.
During a break in the activity at the conference, the students visited the exhibit hall and stopped by SunGard K-12’s booth. While there, the students discussed the challenges they were having accessing their grades and assignments on the eSchoolPLUS Home Access Center on their mobile device. In response to their concerns, the SunGard K-12 Education team told them about the eSchoolPLUS Family App.
The eSchoolPLUS Family App is designed to tighten the feedback loop between schools and families, by putting just-in-time information at the fingertips of students and parents/guardians on their mobile device. Easy-to-view icons quickly connect families with classwork, schedules, attendance, grades, activities, and more. By displaying data through the lens of action, the Family App helps schools and families partner in supporting student achievement. The Family App is available for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch; Android; or Kindle devices.
Later that day, Kayla Wolf, Pleasant Valley High School senior and HOPE student ambassador, and the other students met over lunch with the administrators and shared what they learned.
“We told them about our concerns. It was nice to have such an open door. They were really interested in our thoughts and opinions about ways to better our education and support our needs,” says Wolf, noting that the students were given an on-the-spot commitment that the district would look into offering the Family App to Pleasant Valley families. “It’s very inspirational that our district administration was so receptive and that this effort has been so successful.”