School Launches App Hoping For Attendance Boost

POCOMOKE CITY – Pocomoke High School leaders are hoping a new smartphone app will increase attendance at school functions.

Pocomoke High School (PHS) has launched its own Pocomoke Warriors smartphone app to generate interest in various events at the school. The initiative is Principal Annette Wallace’s latest effort to take advantage of her students’ proclivity for technology.

“We can fight social media or we can embrace it,” Wallace said.

The app, created through SuperFanU, gives students the chance to “check in” when they’re in the building for particular events. They accumulate points for each check in, and can use those points to purchase things like snacks, PHS shirts and even prom tickets at the school. School officials choose which events will be listed and how many points each check in is worth. Events students need to be encouraged to attend, such as parent conferences, earn them more points than basketball games, for example. Wallace says the app even allows students to earn a few points each day by simply checking in for daily attendance. The app keeps a tally of how many points each user has and even tells them their overall rank.

With the help of a student committee, the school launched the app right before winter break. As of this week 185 of the school’s 330 students were using the app.

“It’s pretty popular,” Wallace said.

She pointed out that because they were using it at school, when they had access to Wi-Fi, the app, which can be downloaded for free, was not adding to students’ data charges on their smartphones.

Wallace said she saw the opportunity to launch a school-based app as a way to both generate interest in school events and take advantage of the technology students were already so attached to.

“Kids always want to be on their device and we need them to be in school,” she said. “This way they get to do something they like and we get them to be here.”

Wallace says the days of scrapbooks and newspaper clippings are things of the past.

“Kids these days just don’t do that,” she said. “They love to digitally save memories.”

The Pocomoke Warriors app allows them to do that, as it links to Twitter and Facebook. It also provides them with another way to use social media in a responsible manner.

“We really try to be proactive,” Wallace said. “We embrace the technology. It’s not going away.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.