Local schools try out ‘Vitals’ app designed to create more inclusive learning environment

Orange County News

CARRBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools will soon be the first school district in the country to put vital information just a click away for staff using the Vitals App.

“We think it’s game changing,” said Vitals App spokesman Stan Allen.

It works by putting a beacon on a student’s keychain or lanyard that will alert school staff of their needs when they are within 80 feet of a staff member.

“What happens is the parents fill out a profile, a personalized profile, of things that teachers or school nurses need to know about their students,” said Allen.

“It’s helpful for school personnel and school resource officers to have that information right at their finger tips,” said Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools spokesman Jeff Nash. “That information can change week to week and day to day based on their condition or medical needs.”

For school resource officers like Cpl. Kurt Gurley the app is a gamechanger that gives him a peek inside a student’s life.

“A lot of times when you have these interactions you just can’t get anywhere,” said Cpl. Kurt Gurley. “You’re trying but you’re not making a lot of leeway. To have that information right at your finger tips, pull it out, and see what works for your son or daughter and we’re able to do that and see results it’s amazing.” 

The hope is that with time the app will create a more inclusive environment that’s vital for learning.

“We want students to feel comfortable where they are,” said Nash. “We want parents to feel comfortable sending their students to us and just knowing that we’re always on a lookout for ways to keep safe and make sure it’s a good environment for everybody.”

The app will soon be available at the Phoenix Academy High School, and should be available districtwide within the next few weeks.

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