The Muscatine Community School District is using a new program in the 2015-2016 school year. The Virtual Backpack program (VBP) has been implemented to help reduce the amount of paper and time that schools were using to send home information to students. In past years, each school secretary had a responsibility of sending home flyers for youth sports organizations, community action and involvement organizations, school announcements, park and recreation activities and many other forms of pamphlets or flyers. MCSD’s Communications Director Lisa Bunn said, “The school secretaries were so busy managing the paper that it was growing harder and harder for them to keep track of it all.” This led to the implementation of the virtual backpack.
The program is a way to share information with parents, grandparents, students, and other members of the community without having to stuff student’s folders with paper or hope that an adolescent or teenage student remembers to take the paper home. Now, with the VBP, interested parties can login from the school’s website and access the school specific information that pertains directly to their student.
This saves significantly on cost to the school district because they do not have to print hundreds of copies each day. Parents have easy access to the information as well from anywhere they have access to the internet.