Zionsville Community Schools
Partner Since: 2014
“We have so many different avenues to contact our parents—flyers, school messenger announcements, website, and email. The mobile app has helped us put it all in one spot.”
— Dan Layton, Chief Technology Officer
Zionsville Community Schools (ZCS) is a school district of nearly 7,000 students in Zionsville, IN. Located on the northwest side of Indianapolis, the district includes eight schools, which all have a four-star rating.
ZCS has always valued communication between its parents and staff. But with a number of channels to send messages through, including flyers, announcements in the school messenger, the school website, and email, it was becoming confusing for parents to know where to turn for the most accurate information.
Without a way to centralize the information, messages to parents couldn’t be counted on to accurately relay the most up-to-date information. Additionally, flyers and other printed materials cost money/resources to continually produce, while digital communications like the website and emails can oen become lost in the shuffle of overstuffed inboxes.
student learning more visible.
students to create contributions in some part of their world (class, district, state, world, etc.)
an authentic audience.
Flexible Web Views
ZCS turned to local Indianapolis-based Bluebridge to find a word-class mobile app platform that would engage parents and provide a single “source of truth” for school information. Users can now get easy access to school calendars, pay fees, see lunch menus, connect across campuses, and more.
“Everyone has a phone with them at all times,” said Dan Layton, Chief Technology Officer for ZCS. “People can easily navigate through the app to find what they need anywhere, any time.”
Since launching the app and promoting it through school board meetings, the website, and newsletters, Layton keeps engagement high through a new area of the app called ZCS Live, which is dedicated to student-produced media.
ZCS Live now holds several student videos and projects that allow parents and app users to get a peek into what students are producing and how they perceive their school. Layton hopes to continue building the initiative through contests and other video projects.
“We want to be part of what’s big in the world,” said Layton. “We don’t just want to be consumers of information—we want to be producers.”
Layton calls the app “easy to use” and “incredibly user friendly.” The school continually attempts to increase app appeal through regular content updates, an engaging home screen, and pictures of what the students are doing.
Going forward, Layton hopes to increase student involvement in the app even more, with an eventual goal to make them “student curators” of certain app content.
“Parents want to get on the app to see what kids are doing.”