The Fremont school district has become the first in the state to launch an application that allows parents, students and district officials to access a host of information easily from their iPhone.
The free app, iFUSD, is the brainchild of Mission San Jose High School seniors Sumukh Sridhara, 17, and Andrew Han, 16. It makes it easier for users of an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to obtain information from the district website.
"What happens when you load it on an iPhone is you squeeze the entire website into 3 inches, and that's a totally different user experience," Sridhara said. "We wanted to change that. We wanted to make something easier to use."
The pair approached Superintendent Jim Morris with the idea in the spring, and he jumped at it.
"I said, 'Hmm, sounds like a fantastic idea,' " Morris said.
"They structured this conversation like two business professionals. ... We were so impressed with them, we were immediately on board."
The students teamed up with the district's director of technology, John Krull, and Horner Junior High School parent Rajan Barma of Diya IT Solutions, who helped them design the app. It took three months to implement, using 109,285 lines of code, before it was launched last week.
"I was amazed by the knowledge and professionalism (of Sridhara and Han)," Barma said. "Their get-it-done attitude truly inspired me."
The app's key areas are news, calendar, community, board of education, district information, schools, budget and emergency information.
By clicking on "community," users can check grades, scheduling and course catalogs, and search school libraries to see if a book is available. The section for each school includes maps, one-click calling and accountability reports.
The "board of education" area provides information about trustees along with board policies, agendas and minutes.
Users also can opt in to receive "push notifications" alerting them about emergencies and other important updates. These alerts can be received for single or multiple schools or attendance areas, or for the whole district.
"I think it's one of the most impressive features of the application," Han said.
The app requires zero maintenance because all content is updated automatically from the district website. When a new board agenda is posted or calendar item is added to the website, it also becomes available on the app.
"We live in a mobile world; we live in a connected world," school board President Bryan Gebhardt said. "In 21st century schools, we need 21st century technology."
Contact Rob Dennis at 510-353-7010.