Super Connected SuperFans

School Will Release New App to Promote Student Engagement in Events by End of Month

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Super Connected SuperFans

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To increase student engagement and participation in school events, Principal Jennifer Young decided to design an app available to all students, parents and faculty to better connect the school community. Young’s goal is to release the app by the end of January.

The Mansfield Tiger SuperFan app will allow students to see which events are coming up, vote in polls and even earn free prizes for checking in to school each day or attending spirit events. The app is also tied to other forms of social media, so all Ambush, MISD and Young’s tweets will show up, even if a student does not have a Twitter account. Additionally, a “TigerCam” will be available, so fans who go to the games can post pictures to show how they support the school.

“What we want is people engaging with what’s going on at Mansfield High,” Young said. “This app is available for parents, students and faculty and we want students to start getting in the habit of opening this every day to see what kind of stuff we have going on, and also get points and prizes.”

Currently, the app is in beta-testing, so Young and StuCo adviser Ryan Golden are the only ones who have access to it to work out the kinks before the end of the month.

“The company is going to send us what we can send out to all of the teachers so we can walk (the students) through the process of getting the app and putting in their information,” Golden said. “We just want to get as many students on it as possible.”

While Young was at a StuCo leadership luncheon, she talked to a sponsor at Legacy High, where they also use the app. Currently, Mansfield and Legacy are the only two schools in the district using the app.

“(The StuCo sponsor) was talking about how they just started it and it was really cool,” Young said. “Then I started asking more questions about it and she gave me the guy’s information so I reached out to him and he filled me in. When I met with him, he said they’ve traditionally done this with colleges and universities, but they’ve recently gotten into the high school level.”

By promoting events and activities for clubs and organizations, the app will help all types of extra-curricular activities. Students and sponsors will need to get any information they want to include on the app to Young or Golden.

“The cool thing is, we don’t have to upload it; I send an email to the company and they do it all,” Young said. “Anybody who wants they’re stuff up there just needs to communicate that with me.”

Another aspect of the SuperFan app is the rewards. For checking in to school each day, sports games or other school-related events, students can earn free prizes such as tee-shirts, hoodies and tumbler cups.

“We’re going to have different prizes depending on the amount of points you have,” Young said. “We’re basically trying to create a thing where every day when you come to school, you check in and get a point. The whole point is, when you open the app to check in, you get a pop-up where the news and events are all going to be right there on the app.”

Golden said she is working with vendors to make specialized prizes, which will endorse the app as well.

“I have been reaching out to our vendor and told her what types of things we would like to offer our kids as incentives for becoming a little more involved,” she said. “I go back and forth with her to approve artwork, then I’ll have Ms. Young approve it and we’ll start the process.”

Young said she hopes by having this app accessible from a mobile device at any time, more students will be aware of what goes on around the school.

“I think it’s good because it’s on the phone and you can look at it anytime; our way of doing announcements is not working because people don’t listen to them,” she said. “I think at first, people are going to wonder what the point is, but what I hope that by saying we’ve got some cool things (students) can get for free, they will remember to check in each day and get their points, while also seeing what’s going on.”

Both Young and Golden said they just want students to see how important it is to not only connect with one another, but to also connect to the school through participating with sports and club events.

“We feel like (students) are going to have a better experience in high school if they are more active and engaged in it and by offering the incentives, it will be able to show how fun and important it is to be a part of the school,” Golden said. “I’m just hoping that everybody is going to love the app. It’s really an important step for us to move in this direction because it’s going to give us the availability to push the information out to kids, parents, teachers and community members.”

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