Business

QManager app expedites private schools' student signouts

A Bellevue startup has released an app it claims will streamline the daily in- and outtake of private school students.

Private schools, unlike public institutions, are required by the state to obtain guardian signatures when students arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. The school then forwards the signatures to the Department of Early Learning to ensure compliance with state regulations.

Moazzam Ahmed, a software program manager and father of a Bellevue Montessori student, thought the manual process of obtaining those signatures was inefficient.

“The dismissal process was very chaotic,” Ahmed said. “Staff would stand outside, look for parents and walkie-talkie for another staff member to bring the parents’ child out. They would get the parents’ signature and then they would have to do it all again for the next child.”

Ahmed saw an opportunity to make the process run more smoothly and incorporated Mobile Queue Technologies in 2010. In fall 2011, development began on QManager, a software application allowing the process to be handled almost entirely via smartphone.

Parents or guardians with smartphones use an app and an assigned identification key to sign for their student remotely. The app then notifies the school’s main office of the signature and the parent’s GPS location, allowing staff to bring the child directly to the parent.

After school director Christine Hoffman sought approval from Early Learning, the program began beta testing at Bellevue Montessori in Sept. 2012. The campus had already collected signatures electronically for years, Hoffman said, but staff needed to take an iPad to cars on foot.

“In terms of time, I guess I wouldn’t say (QManager) saves us 20 percent, or 30 percent or so on,” Hoffman said. “The reason we like the system is more in terms of its efficiency in letting parents send their signatures from their smartphone, its dependability and security.”

The app became available for release in the latter half of 2013, charging schools a dollar per student per month for use of the service. Eleven private schools, including Bellevue Montessori, and two day cares are clients.

 

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