The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario has partnered with InTouch Mobile, to develop an anti-bullying and community outreach app. The board’s app was part of a recent in-depth feature on CTV.
Created in response to new Safe Schools legislation, the mobile application gives students and parents an avenue to quickly, conveniently and anonymously report incidents of bullying and victimization in schools.
Research has indicated that this form of communication has empowered students and parents by greatly increasing the number of incidents reported, compared to all other reporting vehicles in place. The app is free for users, and can be accessed through various means including a cell phone that is capable of texting, by calling a toll-free number, or through a web chat. The service links to a live, trained operator who will respond to concerns during business hours, with an automated system setup for after hours.
Once the concern is submitted, a report is generated (within 2 minutes) and forwarded via email to the school administrator(s) for investigation and follow-up. If an operator senses a need for immediate response, a phone call will accompany any emails.
The app will be much more than an anti-bullying tool; it will also be developed as a tool for community outreach, which will communicate information on Board news, student transportation information, and school news and announcements. “Parents, students, and community members will even be able to highlight acts of kindness and good news items,” reports Director of Education, Wm. J. Gartland.
The tool is currently available for use by various groups, including all CDSBEO students in grades 7 through 12.
News Release from the CDSB of Eastern Ontario