After-School Student Dismissal App Gains Traction in New Hampshire

Gov. Maggie Hassan called the PickUp Patrol app, which gives notifications on changes involving when a student is dismissed, “a great example of New Hampshire innovation.”

by Michael Cousineau, The New Hampshire Union Leader / June 2, 2015

(TNS) — The co-founder of a Web-based application designed to help parents and school officials manage after-school student dismissals got a meeting with Gov. Maggie Hassan on Tuesday and an invitation to pitch its solution to the New Hampshire Board of Education this month.

“We got some good connections,” CEO Maria Edvalson said after a closed-door roundtable session with about 20 education and business officials.

PickUp Patrol won the Live Free and Start’s “Ultimate NH Connection” tech startup competition.

What started out in 2009 as a First Lego League project for a group of Mont Vernon elementary students led to Tuesday’s trip to the State House.

Three New Hampshire schools are now using PickUp Patrol, including Wilkins School in Amherst.

Travis Warren, whose daughter, Isabelle, 8, goes there, said the Web application is a “piece of cake” to use.

“The key is you used to have to write the note and basically give it to your child to take in the morning,” said Warren, who also is talking with the PickUp Patrol officials to perhaps incorporate it into other school information systems handled by the company where he works, Blackbaud.

People attached with that student, including parents, get email notifications of changes, boosting the safety of children.

Mont Vernon teenager Brian Apple, who attends Academy for Science and Design, a public charter school in Nashua, worked on the project on the Lego team. He said he isn’t worried about any potential future profits.

“I’m more excited just to get PickUp Patrol out there and getting more schools using it,” he said.

“I was just looking for name recognition,” he said. “Profits are sort of the icing on the cake really.”

Gov. Hassan called the Web application “a great example of New Hampshire innovation” and shows how students can become more prepared for the workforce.

With smartphones constantly offering more ways to change our lives, Hassan said people need to make sure technology doesn’t take over their lives.

“We are in the middle of a digital revolution, and one of the things that always is a challenge in the history of the human race is as you develop new technology you also have to manage it, and that’s one of the things that we really talked about today,” Hassan said. “Innovative technology is really important, so is human common sense and management, so that we can leverage that technology without letting it take us over.”

©2015 The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.), Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Platforms & Programs