Stanly County embraces modern tech to ease age-old school frustrations

ALBEMARLE –– Thanks to the help of new tech-based programs, Stanly County Schools are modernizing timeless practices like math homework and waiting for the bus. 

In the last few weeks, SCS has launched their homework helpline application as well as a “Here Comes the Bus” application.  

The “Student Success Line” in its current form allows students to sign up for a 15-minute time slot on Monday and Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. They can then work with teachers on their middle school or high school math homework.  

Two math teachers –– Albemarle High School’s Patricia Seamon and Albemarle Middle School’s James Patrick –– have volunteered to assist students with math lessons by communicating via the Zoom video conference application.  

Christi Edwards, a math teacher from West Stanly High School, has been heavily involved in the creative process and direction of the helpline that was announced to students on Jan. 6. 

“We noticed that math has gotten more difficult over the years, and students are needing help at home,” said Edwards. “Not all students have the ability to hire a tutor or go to a tutoring center, and not every parent can help them with their math homework.” 

According to Edwards, the intent of the project isn’t to reteach entire lessons but rather to give students a few examples to get them on the right track, allowing the students to go to class prepared the next day.  

“My role was supporting what I see as a need for the students and also to secure teachers with the knowledge and the time to devote to this,” she said. “Each session is recorded, which protects the students and the teachers. I wanted to make sure everything was safe, and it did take a bit of time to get everything in place.” 

The helpline can be accessed through the resources tab of the Stanly County Schools website, which has links to the application and instructional videos.  

Students can also check out Here Comes the Bus, a GPS-tracking technology powered by Synovia Solutions, which was rolled out on Jan. 13. The free application can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play. 

Here Comes the Bus allows students and parents to view the real-time location of a specific school bus by viewing their smartphone, tablet or computer. Stanly County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff James says that this new application is a step in the right direction: both for school safety and the convenience of knowing when to be at the bus stop.  

“With the quarter-cent sales tax to make schools safer, we had to think outside the box and try to make sure that we have the safest available situation possible,” said James. “With this app, kids can also stay in their house out of the snow and rain. I’ve had principals say that parents have told them it has been working flawlessly.” 

The app can be set to where it sends an alert when a student’s particular bus is nearby. Aside from its GPS capabilities, Here Comes the Bus also functions as a diagnostic system that alerts the maintenance staff ahead of time if there is a potential mechanical issue with the bus.  

More information regarding that application can be found at the official website of Here Comes the Bus.