Prescott School District is considering how technology might keep students safe.

Prescott School District is considering how technology might keep students safe. Superintendent Robert Poole said he would like to offer the district a means of communication that would allow students, parents and community members to report suspicious, harmful, or suspect activity.
“Safety of our students is an absolute priority,” Poole said. “I’m interested in this app as a tool for students to alert us when they know of an issue, but worry about being a snitch or have concerns with coming forward with information.”
Mark Lienhart, a consultant with Apptegy, a tech programing company, presented the board with how the company's product might be the solution Poole is looking for, in addition to many other features.
“What’s great about this, is it provides schools a way to get a positive message out,” Lienhart said. “It offers a way to control the message and communication… it saves time by allowing the administrator to post once, while sending out a message to the platforms they choose.”
The application can be installed on any Android or iPhone, and access for app administrators can be limited.
“You might have a student manager who is only allowed to access the sports page, while setting faculty settings to use a range of features.”
The app can be used to send out text alerts, push notification and make phone calls, while also posting to the app’s news feed, Facebook and twitter.
To design a new website for the school and developing the application for the Prescott School District, it would  cost $9,000 and $6,500 respectively. An annual expense for the app would be based on the number of students in the district and discounts for multiple year contracts are available. The annual expense is estimated at $3,500 plus $3 per student and teacher.
After hearing the presentation, the board did not take action.
Contracts for occupational therapy, physical therapy and lawn care services were renewed.
The board increased base salaries of certified and classified staff by $1,000 and $472 respectively.
A bonus program to pay $1,000 for the recruitment of certified personnel and a bonus program of $1,000 for teacher retention at the end of the first year, focusing on English, Math and Science, was also passed by the board.
With Herbert Adams vacating Zone 2 for the school district board, Sandra Evans was chosen to fill the seat until the next regularly scheduled election, to be held in the fall.
(Editor’s Note — Due to staff turnover, please refer any questions or updates for this story to Picayune Editor Rick Kennedy at rkennedy@hopestar.com)