SNOW HILL — It’s been a progressive spring for Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) when it comes to technology and networking. This week the Board of Education (BoE) announced that the school system is on the verge of launching a dedicated app that will tie-in with WCPS’ freshly re-launched website and new Facebook page, among other social media outlets.
The school system’s website went through a massive overhaul and re-launch earlier in the spring and a Facebook page for WCPS was created in May. This is in addition to a Twitter and Youtube channel that the school system debuted last year. The soon-to-come mobile app is a continuation of that pattern and everything is being done with a specific goal.
WCPS isn’t just modernizing itself to stay trendy, said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jerry Wilson. It’s about reaching as wide of an audience as often, and conveniently, as possible.
“If you haven’t noticed, we’ve really started moving, communication-wise, to a different sphere,” he said. “First, we launched our website and now you’ll find us on social media. When we communicate, we are reaching a much broader audience. And we become much more knowledgeable about what our community is responding to relative to our messages.”
The app will be downloadable on mobile and smart devices and link to the WCPS website and social media. Parents and students will be able to do everything from check school closings to cafeteria menus to the staff directory on the fly.
It’s something that has been requested by a lot of parents and will serve to make the school system much more accessible, according to Barb Witherow, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs. She added that the re-vamped website has already been a hit and that the app is expected to work nicely with that established web presence.
“I shared with you last month about our website and through Google Analytics we can tell that an average of 700 visitors viewed our website, exciting stuff. As Dr. Wilson said, as we’re transitioning to reach more people, we know that people use apps,” said Witherow. “They use apps all of the time. So we wanted to get into the game and one of the reasons we re-did our website was so that it had the functionality of sharing information.”
A prototype for the app has already been developed and a final product should be available within the next two weeks or so. This rapid increase in technology and communication is being viewed positively by the Board of Education, though Bob Rothermel admitted that all of the leaps forward can be a bit dizzying, remarking that he feels like “an analog guy in a digital world.”