Craig Middle School launches smartphone app | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig Middle School launches smartphone app

Lauren Blair

Craig Middle School seventh-grader Alexis Blomquist checks the lunch schedule using the new CMS app on her smartphone. Blomquist and other student leaders are encouraging their friends and parents to download the app.

Craig Middle School students will never again have to wonder what's for lunch.

The school recently launched its own app, designed to help parents and students stay in the loop at the touch of a button.

Accessible from any smartphone or tablet device — including iPhones, iPads and Androids — the app features a calendar, news, photos and even an absence form, among other things.

The app is linked to the school's website, said CMS Principal Dave Grabowski. Any time information is posted to the school's calendar or news, it automatically updates the app as well. Users can even opt to receive "push" notifications, which alert them when updates have been made.

Available for free in the app store, Grabowski designed the app to help parents stay up to date with CMS happenings without having to rely on Facebook.

"It's mostly a community tool to keep parents informed about school and I didn't want to go the Facebook route, I wanted something more family friendly," Grabowski said. "I know a lot of parents in Moffat County don't like Facebook and don't let their kids connect to Facebook."

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Grabowski has enlisted student council and enthusiastic students such as seventh-grader Alexis Blomquist to help get the word out. Blomquist set out at the most recent basketball game to get as many of her friends and their parents to download the app as she could.

A volleyball player at CMS, she especially loves the photo feature and the lunch menu under the calendar tab.

"What sparked my interest in it is I could see our lunch schedule and what's going on in our school," Blomquist said. "My mom uses it to check my grades and keep track of all my assignments, and look at action photos of our basketball and volleyball games."

The app also provides access to "Infinite Campus," a tool accessible from the website which allows parents to access their children's grades, attendance records, fees and other important information.

"People can get all the current information," Grabowski said. "One of the main goals is to get info out to parents quickly, especially changes to sporting events or school events."

Another feature on the app allows parents to fill out an absence form for their child that gets sent directly to school staff. Grabowski was quick to assure that someone from the school always calls the parents to confirm, however, minimizing potential abuse of the feature by students.

CMS is the first school in the district to launch its own app, although MCHS is currently developing one.

Starting with the Parent Advisory Committee meeting Monday, Grabowski said he and student leaders will be making a big push this week to get word out to parents and students. Their goal is to get 100 people to download the app.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.