TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Getting students home after the school day at Scott Dual Language Magnet School in Topeka can be a lot of work.
Tiffanie Beasley is a Library Media Specialist at the school and sometimes helps cover student dismissals.
For safety reasons, at the end of each school day, staff tracks when students go home and who picks them up.
“When parents come in a car, it’s our responsibility to make sure kids get to the correct car and with over 500 students that can be really tricky,” said Beasley.
To keep track, staff would use a spreadsheet and type out each student’s name and the names of the people who were picking them up from school.
It was a system that worked but was cumbersome according to Scott Dual Language Magnet Principal Pilar Mejia.
“It wasn’t as efficient as possible,” said Mejia. “Even though it was a good system, it wasn’t the best system.”
That’s when Beasley had an idea for a phone app to help streamline the process and save time. She created it last summer and showed it to Mejia at the start of the school year.
The app is simple and utilizes a drop-down menu with students’ names already loaded. Staff can easily select the student’s name and quickly note how they got home.
Beasley estimates since staff started using the app, they’ve saved as much as 15 minutes each day.
Mejia said while the app is simple, it was a big gift. She said the app gives her the gift of time and allows her more time to talk to parents.
Beasley said the app doesn’t just make life easier for staff, but for students too.
She said the adoption has given her confidence to speak up when she sees other things that are inefficient.
“[Inefficiencies] affect kids,” said Beasley. “At the end of the day, dismissal can be very hectic and if we can make that a smooth transition for students, I think that’s something that’s pretty important in education.”
Beasley said she learned how to create the app through USD 501’s Innovation Academy, a group of staff that meet to learn new ways to use technology.