Kelso School District is putting the finishing touches on its new app and website that will enable the district to connect with parents faster and tell them, for example, whether their kids are in attendance and whether there is a school emergency.

The website and app officially launched Jan. 6, and in the next few months the robocall function will be running, according to district officials. It will be available in both Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The Longview School District currently has an app for Mint Valley Elementary School only.

Kelso parents will be able to choose which schools they want to receive notifications for, Kelso spokeswoman Michele Nerland said, and can change the schools as their child moves through the system. The app also offers access to a district-wide staff directory, district documents such as enrollment forms, an event calendar and a “how-to” section.

She said the while the district will still use FlashAlert to announce closures or emergencies, parents are encouraged to download the app to get faster notification.

When the robocall function rolls out, Nerland said parents will have the option to get an automated attendance call to notify them if their student is not in school, as well as emergency calls.

In a press release, Superintendent Mary Beth Tack said the district will be able to share good things with greater ease and frequency and also reach families much faster in the event of an emergency.

“In our strategic planning as a district, one of our six goals is to have open and transparent communication with our parents and our community,” Tack said in the release. “I’m excited to begin this new year by taking great strides in enhancing our communication.”

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