Education, Latest News, Preston County

New app to help parents and students

KINGWOOD — A new app will make information between school officials, parents and students more efficient.

The free app, called Preston County Schools (PCS), is available for both iPhones and android phones. It can be found online on Play Store. For those using iPhone or iPod touch the app requires iOS 11.0 or higher.

Darla Moyers, technology testing coordinator, said the app  “will bring Preston County Schools into the 21st Century.” She recommends all parents, students and grandparents download the app. With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use it.

She said parents will no longer receive phone call notifications unless its an emergency or a snow day. All other notifications will be available to them on the PCS app.

Moyers said an absence and an excuse slip can be found on app — ready to print and send in with the student. She said a slip must be made out for each  child. The app also contains an employment page with a list of available jobs, and settings that allow parents to check information for individual schools.

Moyers said the PCS app can be connected to Facebook, Twitter and other social media. She said text messages can be sent through SMS and can be set up to go to all students and parents. Voice messages can also be sent.

Board President Jack Keim questioned whether all county parents and grandparents will be able to use the app due to internet access. Some areas of Preston County only have dial-up service.

Moyers said she did not see this as a problem. She said the parent or grandparent can go into the Board of Education and have access to  a computer.

“I’ll sit them down and show them how to use it (the app),” she said.

Anyone wishing to watch the live stream of the board of education meetings on the app must go to live feed and calendar.

In other business, superintendent of schools Steven Wotring discussed the possible budgeting of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency relief Fund (ESSERF).

 The breakdown:

  • Instruction, $510,000 for additional coaching and special education staff
  • $2,300,000 for summer and after-school programming to address unfinished learning
  • $440,000 for teacher devices and presentation stations
  • $350,000 for virtual education and credit recovery platform
  • Professional learning, $750,000 to provide planning time beyond the school day/year
  • $300,000 to provide for staff training and substitutes
  • $1,520,000 for learning services for teachers, administrators and service personnel.
  • Child nutrition, $250,000 for packaging materials.
  • Parent involvement, $150,000 for quarterly magazine, Apptegy
  • $200,000 stipends for teachers to engage meaningfully with parents.
  • Outdoor classrooms, $350,000 for upgrades to outdoor space for students
  • $3,000,000 for door and HVAC upgrades, air ionization technology, cleaning supplies and equipment.

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