Williamsburg Christian Academy students, parents, and faculty will have a new cutting edge communication tool at their disposal this school year, the myWCA mobile app. Developed in concert with LegitApps, myWCA will be the newest digital feature rolled out to the WCA community. The app has many features you normally find on your typical apps, such as calendar access, the ability to view resources normally found on the website, and perhaps the most important, the ability for faculty and staff to send notifications to those who have the app downloaded to their mobile devices in real-time. By use of mobile devices native ‘push’ notification capability, the school will be able to send event notifications, classwork updates, and urgent communications such as school closures and emergencies to all of its constituencies.
“While we will generally reserve the schoolwide notification system for truly important messages, we also have the ability to send out notifications, post resources such as homework assignments, and add newsletters on a granular level, by the grade in some cases,” explained Digital Media and Marketing Administrator Jeff Sullivan. “We can send out specific information to any number of different categories that users subscribe to when they first log in, such as athletics teams, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. This allows us to tailor communications easily to only the parents and students that need or want to get notifications from specific sources.”
The home screen of the app is the launching point into the app’s many features, presented in buttonized form: access to the Praxi Portal system, specialized areas set up with resources and links for parents and students, athletics info, even links to access the school’s Spirit wear shop and the school’s news blogroll from its website. Along the bottom of the app are located the root functions of the app- a home icon to return to the main home page, a calendar icon to view events from WCA’s extensive Google calendar system, a groups icon to view and edit the subscribed groups the user has access to, and of course, the notifications icon, which will take users to a page showing all the most recent notifications pushed over from teachers or staff. The home page even has a feature for a countdown timer, which right now is counting down to the first day of school!
The myWCA app is not just another tool like the WCA website or social media accounts, it will become THE tool for communicating with the WCA community, according to Head of School Johnny Graham. “School leadership constantly analyzes efficient ways to communicate information to families,” Graham remarked about the launching of the myWCA app. “Smartphone notifications represent the most effective rhythm of business communication today. We are excited to better connect with the WCA community in this manner.” The app will not signal the end of other forms of communication like social media, Praxi and the WCA website, as most information that populates the app comes from these sources in many instances. But for those who want near-instant communication and receipt of critical news and updates, as well as reminders that will not be available in other sources, it will be critical for all parents to download the app (see downloading instructions below).
The myWCA app isn’t just for parents. Students have their own major button on the home page that takes them to a list of resources and links tailored to them as well. The Student Handbook and an excerpt of the dress code, a link to Praxi to check grades, and a bank of links to various course syllabi for reference are in the student resources section, as well as a listing and details of arts and club offerings. One of the student-focused features is a weekly poll, which will present topics that students can vote and weigh-in on, sometimes serious and most times less so! There also are additional links to the school spirit shop and our amazing college and career counseling tools website. The flexibility of the app will allow additional event specifics to be added to the student section as well, such as prom or Spring musical ticket sales!
The myWCA app is already in the Apple and Google Play stores, simply go those sites on your mobile device and search ‘Williamsburg Christian Academy’. You can also follow this link for Apple devices, or scan one of the many QR code posters which will be all over the walls and bulletin boards the first few weeks of school. Once you have it, setup is pretty self-explanatory, make sure you go into the ‘notifications’ section of the app and set-up push notifications for your device (you have to give it permission).
The app is obviously in its infant stages, so we would greatly appreciate any inputs that you may have regarding its functionality and features, and any ideas you have on how to add to or improve it. We may not be able to accommodate every request, but we will certainly try with the help of LegitApps! Send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the grace of God, LegitApps developed this app free of charge to WCA! The only thing they have asked of us is that we help them find some sponsors for it. If you or someone you know has a business that would benefit from having their message put in front of the several hundred people that will be checking this app daily, and are willing to help support the WCA ministry, please have them contact David at Legitapps (email@example.com).