Bridges Middle School, centrally located in downtown Portland, is specifically designed for students with learning differences to reach their maximum potential—in a unique atmosphere.
Beven Byrnes is the Principal and Executive Director of Bridges Middle School. As a parent, Beven discovered SchoolPass at her child’s school and knew the K-12 attendance automation and school movement solution would streamline processes at her own school.
Initially, Byrnes brought SchoolPass into the mix for the Visitor and Student Management modules. She recognized that parents have a lot on their plate, and she wanted to provide them with a solution that would allow for effortless parent communication. The school was having challenges with parents communicating carpool changes, early pick up, and late drop off. With the SchoolPass app, parents and authorized adults can check children in and out from the car using GPS. Bringing SchoolPass technology to their school has empowered Bridges Middle School parents to manage and communicate these changes through the ease and convenience of their mobile app. “It has been amazing for streamlining the parent changes and communications.”
The implementation has also lightened the load on staff immensely. With a small team of just 12, the school had difficulty effectively tracking and communicating these changes in a timely manner. “Our teachers have really appreciated getting the notifications when kids are out sick, so they don’t have to wait for our office manager to send an email. They’re finding out in real-time on their phone, which kids are out, who’s going to be late, and the ones that are leaving early.”
Utilizing the Visitor Management module, the school now streamlines visitor check-ins, utilizes instant registered sex offender check, and prints photo badges for school visitors. Prior to SchoolPass, Bridges Middle School had used an old-fashioned sign-in sheet.
Byrnes discussed how critical it is to have SchoolPass Visitor Management in place to provide another layer of security to the campus. “The other thing that I absolutely love is the visitor management solution, and the security it provides. It increased security, which is a big concern these days. We never had any kind of background check function, that just hadn’t been something that we’ve been able to offer, so it was really nice to be able to communicate that we’ve upped our security to families, which they really appreciated.” They also now have a greater sense of certainty during fire drills. They use the app to verify instantly who is physically on campus, whether it’s kids, staff, parents, or vendors.
The onset of the pandemic brought an even heavier workload to the school’s staff. Her staff was using a Google Form to track wellness checks. As Byrnes recalls, “It was a nightmare trying to sort through responses on whether they have done it or not. So that has been really helpful for us.” Additionally, her staff uses the check-in and check-out feature of Visitor Management to track staff hours and ensure that wellness checks are being completed in accordance with their staff guidelines. The solution needed to be easy for parents and staff to complete from their phones to guarantee that the school was taking the proper COVID-19 safety measures. “It has been amazing for streamlining the parent changes and communications.”
“The other thing that I absolutely love is the visitor management solution, and the security it provides. It increased security, which is a big concern these days.” -Beven Byrnes Principal and Executive Director Bridges Middle School
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