Starting this school year, Rome City Schools will equip teachers with a phone application which allows them to see a compiled list of their students records, place phone calls on a recorded line and translate texts into over 100 languages.
City school board members heard a presentation during caucus Tuesday night from School Status, a data consolidation company, who work with school systems in compiling data and records which are then placed on one application.
“They take all the data in multiple locations and let teachers see that information,” Superintendent Lou Byars told the board.
According to Scott Braynard of School Status, the app would allow teachers to get into contact with parents without sharing their personal cellphone number. The app would generate a phone number for the teacher which the parent would save in order to contact the teacher throughout the year.
Since the contact is happening through the app teachers can set office hours and decide when they can be reached, Braynard said. Teachers will also have access to all of the students records through the app which they can pull up when needed. Parents will not need an app to talk to teachers.
All of the calls that take place through the app will be recorded, Braynard said, to provide documentation of what is said between teachers and parents.
The recording will be accessible by RCS administration and will be stored at the central office. There will be a pre-recorded message that alerts the parents they are speaking on a recorded line, Braynard said.
A daily report is sent out to all school administrators who can review what has been logged in the system which includes recordings, grade updates and behavior instances. This would allow principals to see everything from a broad overview of what is happening in their school to a detailed report, said Braynard.
Rome City Schools will enter a three year contract with School Status for $17,000. Braynard said this is a discounted rate since the Rome school system is an “emerging market.” School Status does not currently serve any systems in the state of Georgia and RCS would be the first hence the lowered rate. Byars said the regular rate is around $44,000.
“We are basically getting three years for the price of one,” he said.
Assistant Superintendent Dawn Williams said the program would streamline the systems data gathering process and bring it to a teacher level. Williams said the current method to retrieve data for one student is time consuming since there are multiple platforms the system uses to store grades, test scores, attendance, behavior and so forth.
Board Vice Chair Jill Fisher commented the program would help the school system better communicate with parents which is one of the board’s strategic goals.
Byars said the schools are working on the system now and will bring it before teachers when they come back in a few weeks.