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More than 800 people download Grand Forks Public Schools app

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GRAND FORKS - Parents can now track their kids at school with their finger tips.  

Whether it's high school sports or the first week of school, parents like to keep track of what’s going on with their children.

"I have a kindergartner,” said Kindergarten mom, Jhoana Nordstrom.

"It's the first time to be in an official school and knowing in real time how he's doing and I can talk to the teacher directly it really helps,” said Nordstrom.

Jhoana Nordstrom is the newest parent to download the Grand Forks Public Schools app.

It gives you access to a list of events, up-to-date grades and a contact list for teachers.

You can even pay your child's lunch balance with a few quick taps.

"It helps. It saves time. Especially for working moms or every parent out there who's time is very precious,” said Nordstrom.

The app just launched on Monday, but more than 800 parents have already downloaded it.

WDAY News has learned the school district says 75 percent of parents or guardians own smartphones nationwide.

The district is hoping an app will better connect parents to schools.  

"We know if we're using an app, we'll have more parents, more community members in tune with what's going on with Grand Forks public schools,” said Tracy Jentz, with Grand Forks Public Schools.

WDAY News asked a dozen parents about the app.

One family tells us they tried several times to log in with their child's information -- but they haven't yet been able to get access.

School district leaders say they want you to let them know.

"We always love feedback so if they ever have any questions or there's every anything they're looking for on that. Reach out to us on social media or call we're happy to take that information and do anything we can to get the news and content to them in any way possible,” said Jentz.

It's a project that's been in development for a year.

The district paid Blackboard $50,000 for a variety of services including developing the app.

And this district isn't alone in developing mobile technology. Parents in East Grand Forks can find their child's bus stop, using an interactive map on Google.

While many similar features are already available online, parents say the convenience is worth it.

"Knowing that they have an online account is convenient enough. But the app that you have on your phone where you can check everything, get notifications, in real time it's really great,” said Nordstrom.