Parents who use the Dublin City Schools' new phone app will be able to access their children's grades and other important education information.

The app, Dublin City Schools Mobile, had a soft launch in May and is available for free to download for Apple and Android platforms, said Doug Baker, the school district's public-information officer.

The district has many platforms that require a parent login, but the app was a way for families to just log in once to access a variety of information, Baker said.

Parents can look at students' homework assignments and grades via the app, he said, as well as add lunch money to student accounts, view lunch menus and update medical forms. They can also contact attendance offices through the app.

Families also can opt in to receive push notifications about snow days and other district cancellations, Baker said.

The app was not built only for parents. Anyone can use it as an information source, Baker said.

Erik Starkey, the district's community-outreach specialist, said the app provides an easy way to stay up to date. It connects to social-media handles for the school district and individual schools. Users can select which Facebook and Twitter accounts to follow.

Students can use the app, Baker said. For example, it allows students to report bullying, he said.

Blackboard, a business that provides technological tools for schools, developed the app, Baker said. Its cost was $8,000.

As of the third week in June, the app was approaching 2,000 downloads, he said.

Communication with parents is important to ensure students receive a world-class education, said Superintendent Todd Hoadley. The app is another tool to communicate with parents, he said.

"This app really combines a lot of our current communication technology into one convenient location for our parents, and we hope our parents find this as just another great way to keep in the loop as far as what their children are learning at Dublin City Schools," Hoadley said.

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