Loudoun School System Launches Mobile App

Loudoun County Public Schools is getting tech-savvy.

The school system is launching an app that pulls together its most frequently used web tools to one location.

The LCPS App is now available for a free download from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play App Store. It is designed for anyone looking for information about the school system, including parents, staff members, students and members of the general public.

The app will give users access to school menus, the lunch account software system, the student information management system, the online learning platform, sports information, calendars and social media feeds.

Once the app is downloaded, users can customize their access according to the specific schools they wish to follow. A parent with students in multiple schools, for instance, could customize his or her view to include all of the schools attended by their children.

The app will also feature push notifications that will allow school leaders to send emergency messages to the phones of subscribers without incurring charges associated with texting.

The school system plans to roll out an outreach effort to advertise the app with banners and yard signs posted at every LCPS facility starting Aug. 1. Posters with a QR code that links to the new app are being distributed now, and families and school employees will be encouraged to download the new program at back-to-school nights and teacher training workshops.

Learn more about the app at lcps.org/Page/173808.

2 thoughts on “Loudoun School System Launches Mobile App

  • 2016-07-11 at 11:56 am

    How much did this cost? Was this really needed? With the school system making cuts, having overcrowded schools, etc. was this really money well spent?

  • 2016-07-12 at 3:57 pm

    They seem to be leveraging features of the same Blackboard system they’ve been using (read: licensing) for years for other instructional purposes. I haven’t looked at Blackboard lately, but it’s always been an extraordinarily flexible content delivery and collaboration platform for education.

    It probably cost them next to nothing. The “app” itself barely took any time to download, meaning it’s most likely a shell application that uses a Blackboard server within the school system to do most of the “heavy lifting”. You can find similar apps for other school systems that appear to look nearly identical. That implies that all LCPS probably needed to do was connect it to their existing information and news sources and feeds, configure some plug-ins, and then put it out there.

    I don’t have kids in LCPS any more, but I am interested in what goes on there, so I was very glad to see that all of the school board meetings, committee meetings, and several community group meetings are all listed together in the app’s calendar. That’s the first time we’ve ever seen something like that. From there, you can turn on the calendars for whatever schools you need, and their calendars are included.

    The directory is nice, providing you with one-touch access to the contact info and web sites for each school. Touching the name of a principal or any school board member gives you their email address which you can touch to compose an email right there or to add or update their info in your phone’s contact list.

    It aggregates their existing Facebook and Twitter feeds into one activity feed within the app, their press releases in another, and published pictures in a third. Under “Sports”, you can select from news feeds for as many sports and booster organizations as you like in different high schools, and it aggregates news items you can use to click through to their individual Facebook groups.

    And it links together in one place other, existing apps like MySchoolBucks and ParentVUE.

    I discovered all this stuff within ten minutes of downloading the app.

    It mystifies me how people can jump to conclusions that something must have been costly or isn’t worthwhile or judge its value in relation to our schools’ overall priorities based on reading little more than a headline.

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