[ I D E A S ] BY MARLAINA COCKCROFT
How do teachers and coaches stay in contact
with students without crossing boundaries?
Amanda Fuchs thinks her app is the answer.
“We really provide safer mobile communication between educators and students,”
says Fuchs, co-founder of Interact With,
based in Jersey City and Morristown.
The app allows school employees and
students to text each other without exchanging phone numbers. Administrators can
monitor the messages to resolve disputes
and ensure nothing inappropriate is said.
Between 15 and 20 New Jersey schools have
signed on to use the program.
“We want educators and students to
continue the benefits of texting,” Fuchs says.
“So for example, in athletics or after-school
programs, there needs to be instant communication.” If it rains, for instance, a coach can
tell players to head to the gym for practice.
“Kids are texting, that’s their mode of
communication,” says Bobby Grauso, athletic
director at Hackettstown High School, which
is using the app. “If [a coach] weren’t able
to do that, that’s going to impact him being
able to communicate with the kids.”
Fuchs says her company originally
helped small businesses communicate with
clients, but switched focus in 2014 when she
and her partner, coder/developer Angelo
Stracquatanio, realized smartphone commu-
nications had become a concern in schools.
Last year, the state Legislature mandated
that all districts adopt an electronic communication policy between school employees and students. And this year, teachers
at several New Jersey high schools have
faced charges or suspensions over alleged
“Unfortunately,” says Fuchs, “there’s been
a lot of inappropriate relationships or inappropriate exchanges spurred from unsupervised texting.” Her app, she says, protects
students and school
employees alike. ;
parents appreciate her
app as a
new way of
Fine Furniture & Interiors
For Every Room of Your Home
214 Route 10, East Hanover, NJ 07936
973-887-0517 • wescofinefurniture.com
Ask About Our Free In-Home Design Service Since 1955