Client: Albuquerque Public Schools

The official Albuquerque Public Schools app. Includes news, events, activities, lunch menus, school and district information, push notices, and everything about APS.

Customer Problem

In response to several nationally televised school emergencies, the Albuquerque Public Schools communication team needed to create a communication channel directly to the local school community, from parents and students to the teachers and staff at that school, primarily to notify those affected within the school community of emerging situations, emergencies or closures. School officials wanted this communication channel to empower the communications department to issue notifications of emergencies which could be sent to every user of the application or only to those students, parents, and staff associated with a particular school or cluster. The primary goals was to empower school officials to quickly notify the community of emergencies as well as instructions for those affected to better manage the emerging situation by providing directions for parents on staging, alternate pick-up procedures, etc.. In addition, school officials wanted to provide mobile access to important information to better serve the needs of families whose only access to school information was through a mobile device, and providing fingertip access to frequently accessed online information such as school menus, events, and online grade checks. In order to defray costs of developing the mobile app, school officials also needed to find alternative sources of revenue to fund the project in addition to their own limited budget.

CityLife Solution

The APS mobile app delivers real-time push notifications for emergencies or vital notices and are issued by school personnel. By delivering vital information as push notices, app users opt in for the notices, which have already been in use to provide breaking information about police situations, weather-related closures, or other emergencies affecting the school community. By providing a visual interface, users can easily choose their favorite school and access menus, events, and other information about their own community school. Access to the City of Albuquerque’s transit app and the local food bank’s app are also provided within the public school app, allowing users to access information quickly for other ancillary services. The app is funded through annual license agreement with the school agency, with a significant portion of the development and support costs defrayed through sponsorships and local small business advertising and promotions which comply with school, state and federal regulations to filter and remove any promotions which are not allowed.


Push Notifications: users select only the specific school or schools for which they want to receive emergency and information via push notifications. School officials may also send push notices to all users for information affecting all users. 


School Directory: exhaustive directory of all schools within the district


Favorite School: the app opens to the landing page of the school which is currently favorited, with easy access to school-specific push notices, lunch menus, activities and news. 


District Directory: frequently called numbers and useful links including online grade checks, school policies, food bank and public transit information. 


Sponsorships and Local Deals: sponsorship advertising and mobile coupons from local businesses