COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - If you have a smartphone, your screen is probably filled with a number of apps you find useful. This school year, District 11 is hoping you have one more.
The district tells 11 News they started designing the app about a year ago after they got feedback from parents saying they wanted more immediate communication.
"Families wanted a better way for us to communicate with them especially during emergency situations," said District 11 spokeswoman Devra Ashby.
That's what it aims to do -- improve communication by getting information out quicker. For example, if there's a lock-down, it allows them to notify parents instantly.
Ashby tells 11 News it's, "just another layer of notification for families to let them know we're taking care of their students."
The district says before the app, they relied on text alerts and social media but, that system had some holes and the app is more reliable.
The instant notifications will also give parents peace of mind when situations like a lock-down that are over.
On a lighter note, the district says this new app can help students and parents stay organized on a day to day basis -- from school events, to knowing what's for lunch.
If you're using the app as a parent, you can stay up to date with your kid's classes by getting a notification when their grades drop.
11 News asked the district how much money it has cost to build the app. They say the costs are "proprietary and confidential," so they could not say a number. The district went on to say though, they are saving money because they've "bundled" services.
"Instead of paying for all these multiple contracts, we have one contract now that we're paying more," said Ashby.
While the app just launched, about 1,200 people have already downloaded it. That's a relatively small number compared to the 27,000 students in the district, but as school starts up next week, they hope more people download it.
You can find the app for free in your app store, just search, "District 11."