App gives parents real-time updates from inside the classroom

The Tadpoles app allows teachers and parents to communicate throughout the school day with quick notes and even pictures or videos

The Tadpoles app allows parents to keep tabs on their children in preschool.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – There is an app being used by some local schools this year giving parents the chance to stay connected while their child is in class.

The Tadpoles app allows teachers and parents to communicate throughout the school day with quick notes and even pictures or videos.

Each day, parents get a detailed report of their child’s day with information such as if they took a nap, when they ate their snack, or even just a picture of them participating in an activity. Parents get those details directly from the teacher.

The Mahoning County Educational Service Center (MCESC) helped bring the app to local preschools. It was tested last spring in about 12 MCESC preschool classrooms, including some in Boardman and Austintown.

After a successful trial run, they decided to implement the app this year in all 27 preschool classes throughout Mahoning and Portage counties.

Christine Hanysh, MCESC family service supervisor, says the app helps parents keep tabs on what they children are doing and how they are learning at school.

“Sometimes in preschool, we get a bad rap. A child comes home and says to their parents that all they did was play. Parents get a little concerned because they want their children to succeed and be ready for kindergarten. So, this way we can use those snapshots and videos to show that we’re meeting the Ohio content standards,” Hanysh said.

Each teacher has an iPad equipped with the app, and parents are invited to create an account within the app and get updates specifically for their child and teacher throughout the day.

tadpole-daily-reportTheresa Culp has been using the app and said it is convenient and easier than writing down notes with paper and pen.

“You just type a few words on the app. And one of the great things about Tadpoles is that you take a picture and tie it to the early learning standards that we follow with the program and send it right out to the parents,” Culp said.

During the trial run of Tadpoles in local preschools this past spring, 47 parents were surveyed and all feedback was positive.

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