School district makes it easier for parents to access student's - WNEM TV 5

School district makes it easier for parents to access student's information

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
HEMLOCK, MI (WNEM) -

Advertisements have been seen on TV lately touting school districts' opportunities and activities for students.

It's all part of the school choice program, which allows students and parents to choose the best school for their needs. The school can be within their district or in a different district.

It is optional for school districts to participate in a school choice program. The districts can choose the degree to which they participate, right down to application and enrollment dates. The districts can also choose which buildings, grades and programs will accept school of choice students.

The Department of Education recommends if you want to learn more about a school district's school of choice program to contact the district directly.

Some school districts are busy trying to recruit new students and parents. Others are focused on making upgrades for those already enrolled.

The Hemlock Public School District has been hands on when it comes to keep parents involved with their children.

"A few years ago we went to a new student management system that allows families to dial in to the students grades," Hemlock Superintendent Don Killingbeck said.

Now the district wants to make sure parents are connected in all the ways that works best for them.

"When we have a principal or superintendent that wants to get some information out, they can distribute it via Twitter, Facebook. As well as the typical website with just one click of a button," said Tom Lockwood, technology director of Hemlock Public Schools.

Lockwood said if you don't have a particular social media profile you can customize the alerts to come to the social platforms you prefer most or check the school website for on demand information.

As a parent you no longer have to worry about being out of the loop because you can get push notifications sent to your computer and you can even get them sent to your cell phone.

"Parents, by just looking at their phone, are going to be able to get information about the school. If anything changes with their kids' schedules or a new sports score comes in, they can just go ahead and reference it immediately," Killingbeck said.

Killingbeck said as a parent he knows the challenges that come with keeping up with your children. He hopes the new communication platform will make it a bit easier.

"Today's society is so quick. Being able to get information out to families and know that they're able to access information that's meaningful to them is critical," Killingbeck said.

He said the new addition is not to compete with other schools, but instead to better connect with their community.

The new website and phone app will be released Aug. 1.

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