​Valley Heights USD No. 498 Shifts Communication Strategy to Tell Student Stories

Today, Valley Heights USD No. 498 launches a new public relations campaign to increase parental engagement through the use of technology. It is a part of a larger effort to inform the Valley Heights community of the positive stories that happen inside the District. The administration announced the release of new mobile applications for iPhone and Android with school information such as events, sports scores, cafeteria menus, emergency notifications, and other pertinent information. The effort is in partnership with Apptegy, an education technology company based in Little Rock, Ark.

Valley Heights Schools is taking this initiative to engage community members on the devices and social networks they use most. A ComScore study shows that Americans use mobile technologies at twice the rate of desktop computers, and a Pew study shows that 65 percent of adults use social media. With the newly adopted tools, the administration and teaching staff can share across all of these communication channels.

The Valley Heights Schools leadership sees sharing news and updates on mobile devices and social media as critical to educating in the 21st century.

“This is a must download to keep abreast of the latest activity in the Valley Heights school community,” explained John Bergkamp, superintendent of the Valley Heights USD No. 498. “Social Media is the avenue to share our positive story with everyone and Apptegy’s platform allows us the most efficient and economic way to do so. Instant access to the most up to date news will keep the Valley Heights community informed and aware of the many great things happening in our schools.”

“When looking to update our website the main criteria was to get the positive message of our school district's mission conveyed to the public the fastest way possible. Apptegy appears to be that vehicle. We believe we can be proactive in our communication with parents, students, and staff utilizing what Apptegy offers,” Bergkamp said.

Apptegy is a three-year-old education technology startup that builds simple communication tools for school districts across the country. “School districts have a unique opportunity to grow connections with their community by sharing all of the great things that happen on a daily basis,” said Jeston George, CEO of Apptegy. “Educators are extremely busy, so they need tools that make it easy and efficient to share across different types of devices and social networks.”

The free mobile apps in the Google Play and Apple App Store are launching soon alongside a revamped, mobile-friendly website. Community members can expect to see more positive stories and regular updates from the Valley Heights Schools.