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District 303 becomes mobile

Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:52 p.m. CST
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(Photo provided)
A mobile app for St. Charles School District 303 will be available to download Aug. 4.

ST. CHARLES – Receiving communication from St. Charles School District 303 is about to get easier.

Starting Aug. 4, a free District 303 mobile app will be available to download for Android and Apple devices. Search "CUSD 303" in the Apple App Store or Google Play and select "Install."

Users can access news from the district and individual schools, and they will have the option to set up custom notifications about such topics as grades, attendance and lunch account balances, according to the district.

The district reports that a password-protected feature also will allow parents and students to set notifications for grade changes for those in middle and high school.

Jim Blaney, school and community relations director, said in a written statement that District 303 wanted its app to be more than a mobile version of its website.

"In the process of developing this app our goal was to make available an app that is truly interactive and fully customizable," he wrote. "We know individuals have preferences for how and when they want information. The District 303 mobile app allows for that."

The app also will be tied to the district-wide and individual school parent notifications, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

ParentLink created the app specifically for the district. The company also is providing the school system with parent notification tools.

Approved by the school board in February, the three-year contract with ParentLink took effect July 1. According to board documents, the agreement includes a one-time $4,000 setup fee and a $2.95 charge per student per year, which equals $39,022.60 for 13,228 students.

Blackboard Connect, a parent-notification provider whose contract with the district expires Sept. 30, charged $3 per student annually.

"We encourage everyone in the District 303 community to download the app," Blaney said. "We especially encourage community members who do not have children in our schools to get the app so they can keep up with the exciting things happening in our schools."

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