(iStock)

SD63 launches new app to communicate with parents

Sangha rolls out in phases starting mid-January to send emergency alerts, eventually two-way communication tool

School District 63 is modernizing the way it communicates with parents and guardians as they move to implement the use of an app called ‘Sangha’ early next year.

Available to anyone with a smartphone, the app is free to download and will provide automatic notifications to users beginning in mid-January.

Dave Eberwein, superintendent of SD63 said parents and guardians also have the option to be notified via text or email and the new system also has the capability to send an automated message to a landline.

“We’re not getting rid of the way we’re currently communicating,” he says. “We’re just building on it.”

RELATED: Saanich school district boasts ‘robust’ French immersion program

Sangha was chosen because of its “comprehensiveness and flexibility” Eberwein said, and its compatibility with the current system the school district uses.

As a result, the app will roll out in phases beginning with emergency notices only – school closures, lockdowns – and will eventually utilize other features where parents and guardians will be able to report absences, register for field trips or pay fees.

“We’re going to have a way to get that information out in a much more timely fashion than we have in the past,” he said.

Eberwein said the app is American, but hosted in Canada so the data it collects is stored locally and SD63 also conducted a privacy impact assessment on the technology. Widely used in the U.S. at least one other school district in B.C. has already put Sangha to use in North Vancouver.

“We are learning from their implementation,” Eberwein says. “As with anything IT-related, there are going to be some hiccups.”

RELATED: Saanich school district budgeted $51.3 million in 2018 for salaries, benefits

The app has a per student cost of “a few thousand dollars a year” that Eberwein said will be paid for by the school district.

He recommends that any families who may have not updated their contact information do so through their student’s school office, which will automatically input the data into the Sangha system.

“It’s really quite handy,” he says.

For more information on Sangha, visit SD63.bc.ca.


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

Canada’s best ready to take a run at Bear Mountain

2020 Pan American Cross Country Cup will be held Feb. 29 at Langford resort

Oak Bay High piano fundraising committee raises a glass to donors

Oak Bay High brings Fiddler on the Roof Feb. 28 to March 7

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read