Education

Social media putting BEA on the digital map

Bald Eagle Area School District has a master plan for its digital initiative. Administrators already use some social media, including Twitter, but the district is also creating an app and a new web platform.
Bald Eagle Area School District has a master plan for its digital initiative. Administrators already use some social media, including Twitter, but the district is also creating an app and a new web platform. Photo provided

Bald Eagle Area may be a school district off the beaten path, but administrators are on the forefront of getting news out about their schools globally through the power of a digital connection.

Superintendent Jeff Miles said administrators are working to enhance the district’s website and social media pages with the help of a “one-click platform” that will update all networks with the press of a button.

“It will make it easier to update information like early dismissal or snow day news, without going through every website or Facebook page to update it manually,” Miles said.

But it’s only one step in the digital direction.

BEA is working to create its own district app

A BEA app is also in the works.

District Director of Elementary Education Jim Orichosky, who also helps oversee the district’s digital plan, said administrators presented the idea to the nine-member board.

“We’re looking at improving our Twitter and Facebook (usage), and creating (a mobile app) that I think they’re looking to approve at the next board meeting,” Orichosky said. “We want information to be at our residents’ fingertips because we live in a world where people are attached to their phones.”

With the click of the app, people can get district news, updates and emergency information.

The idea has been in the works for more than a year, and with the district’s webmaster’s recent retirement, Orichosky said they’re looking to simplify the process, while getting information out to the public in a timely manner.

We need something where cutting edge information is coming out quickly. We know people will look at the app over the website because of convenience.

Jim Orichosky, Winagte Elementary principal, BEA director of elementary education, and district social media guru

“I guess we started to see the benefits of posting to social media and were like, ‘Look what happened when I posted something on social media,’ ” he said. “It was going viral. We need that kind of information all the time, and I’m seeing a generation that is responding to that, and I said, ‘We need something where cutting edge information is coming out quickly.’ We know people will look at the app over the website because of convenience.”

The app, if approved, also will allow people to automatically get notifications.

“We’re dealing with the most important people in someone’s life — their kids,” Orichosky said. “We believe in making sure parents (and guardians) know what’s going on at their schools and with their children.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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