Kinvo app helps parents track student attendance by class period

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Lauren Glassberg has the story. (WABC)

There is help for parents who aren't sure if their child is actually going to school or skipping out.

Studies show missing school can compromise a child's education, but new technology may help lower truancy rates.

Think back to home room attendance, you were present, absent, or late.

Now when it comes to taking attendance, there are new apps that inform parents in real time that their child is late or missing.

"I saw the challenges as a high school teacher with regard to students cutting class after lunch," said Miriam Altman, of Kinvolved and Kinvo app.

As frustrating as absenteeism is for a teacher, it's even more disruptive for the student.

Missing school means missing lessons.

Playing hooky can throw a child's education way off track.

But Miriam Altman and Alex Meis are behind Kinvolved, and the Kinvo app, which helps schools and families battle truancy.

"Schools can use the app to send attendance, send text messages, and email," Meis said.

Text messages are in real time.

"Essentially we're flipping the school. We're eliminating paper in the backpack, the robocalls parents don't appreciate getting," Meis said.

With robocalls a parent may not know their kid didn't make it to school until the end of the day.

Kinvo is based in Brooklyn and there are other companies offering similar systems.

New York City Public Schools are implementing these apps at their own discretion according to the executive director of safety and youth development.

"It's actually an interesting thing to use these apps because they can capture period attendance, whereas the school is just required to take attendance once during the school day, this allows for more accurate attendance for each period," said Lois Herrera, of NYC Public Schools.

So if a student's trying to skip out on Biology, a parent will know immediately, and will hopefully work to encourage a change in behavior.

One of Kinvo's creators knows that can make a difference.

"When I was able to effectively engage families the students were doing much better in school," Altman said.

Parents don't need to download the Kinvo app. They get the text messages sent through the app that the school and teachers download.

And by the way, these apps can also boost attendance when it comes to the parents who are supposed to attend teacher conferences of other school events.

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technologypublic schoolnew york city schoolstruancyu.s. & world
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