Oak Harbor Schools launch new phone application

Parents and guardians of students in Oak Harbor Public Schools can now have easier access to information from the district.

A free Oak Harbor Public Schools app is now available to download on any smart phone or tablet.

Parents and guardians can log in with their Skyward account information and view their student’s grades, assignment information, lunch account balance, attendance and more.

“The coolest thing about the app is it consolidates all of our parent resources,” said Conor Laffey, the school district’s communication officer.

In addition to seeing the balance, parents can easily add money to lunch accounts or pay student fees.

Once logged in, the app will automatically follow the schools attended by the parents’ students, which means they will receive information and notifications specific to those schools. The app will include information about lunch menu items and their ingredients and nutritional information, the district’s social media sites and the district calendar.

Calendar items from the app can be selected and added to the calendar of the user’s personal device.

Parents can pick high school sports to follow for scores and schedules, look up bus route information, read district policies, find out about volunteer opportunities, search the staff directory and download forms.

“I think nowadays with the way that technology is going, having something that is a one-stop shop for parents was our goal, and we’re hopeful that this will meet that objective,” said Laffey.

There is also an option to provide feedback or report an issue with the program. Staff, administrators and members of the district advisory committee have been using that app since Nov. 13, and so far, Laffey said the response has been positive.

“People seem to really like it,” he said. “It’s intended to make their lives easier.”

The idea for creating an app came out of talks of adding text messaging to the district’s methods of communication, which happened in October.

The same organization the district worked with on implementing texting to contact parents and families of students also offered the option of creating a mobile app. After determining the district would be able to handle the work load of running an app and that it aligned with community desires, Laffey said adding it was “a no-brainer.”

Parents who do not know their login information for Skyward can contact the Oak Harbor Public Schools office for assistance.

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