Thousands of hours of teacher/administrative time is spent daily around the country coordinating the dismissal of children. This is not your grandmother's school system any more! When I was a kid we walked a mile home. No not through the snow but in the Florida heat! When I picked up my son at school there were no identity or matching bracelet issues. Today it is a different age. Go by your neighborhood school and watch the line that forms around the school and the neighborhood streets. Also notice how many teachers it takes to dismiss the children. It is nerve-racking and tedious and puts a lot of responsibility on the staff.
My colleague, Pat Bhava has developed an app and portal based program, PikMyKid, that allows parents to manage the dismissal of their child from their smartphone; gives administrators a real-time dismissal tracking interface and reduces the amount of time parents wait in pick-up lines. If you cannot pick up your child, you can through the app authorize someone else to substitute for you without an act of Congress.
This is how it works. The app uses GPS to show the teachers where your vehicle is at the school. Parents use the PikMyKid app to make pick-up changes if an emergency arises. The app also automatically notifies them of their kids dismissal, status, delays, and emergencies. The Administration has the PikMyKid portal on their desktop giving them a bird’s-eye view, as well as management capability of all students, such as pick-up options (bus, carpool, etc) and pick-up changes.
The app allows the school to leverage digital handshake technology to match the right kids to the right cars or buses; notifies parents instantly of dismissal status, delays, and emergencies and reduces school liability with digital dismissal records.
The app allows the school administration to save the average school 2,250 teacher hours ($54,000 in salary) every year; allows teachers to spend more time planning for the next day, rather than managing dismissals; and saves thousands of dollars on printing paper by giving administrators and teachers the ability to send messages to parents through the app.
Teachers use iPads allowing them to have the most up-to-date information in a centralized place, know exactly where each kid goes at the end of the day, and manage the dismissal process.
I urge you to encourage your school, PSTA and school board to invest in this new technology.
Teachers using the app on their iPads can use the tablet more comfortably if they put the Pad Go Round on it. Attach a lanyard to secure around your neck so you can have your hands free. The handles allow you to get a firm grip on the tablet and reduce hand stress.