Dana Hall returns to REACH to monitor boarding students

With the return of all boarding students, Dana Hall restarted using the REACH app to monitor boarding students’ locations and permissions. Through REACH, students can update their location during the academic day and make leave requests to parents and dorm directors for their weekend activities. 

Previously, boarding students had a permission card they filled out for weekend activities, and there was a binder that students would sign their names in for check-ins. The transition from a paper to a digital check-in system proved beneficial and more convenient. Dorm Director Grayson Arango said, “I love how students can now make requests days in advance, and that’s one thing I’d say REACH is really good for—all those special occasions, things you don’t normally have permission for, it’s a lot easier to get that parent’s permission.” 

However, students struggle to remember to update their tags in REACH as they come and go. Gaby Cao ’24 stated, “I think the app itself is good, but sometimes I tend to forget to update. I have never used the REACH app before and haven’t developed a habit of changing my tags, especially in the morning when I have to get up early for morning check-in.” Regarding these issues, Ms. Arango wishes that the REACH app would send notifications reminding students to change their tags if they have been in one location for some time.  

In 2018, Dana Hall started investigating and exploring ways to digitize the checkout process for boarding students. The REACH app was first put into use two years later, in January 2020. During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-21, Dana Hall used REACH daily to help the school survey the community’s health. 

Dana Hall chose the REACH app because of its unique advantages. “It sends an email directly to families’ email inbox so that [requests] could be easily identified and approved or declined, and it translated into different languages,” said Ms. Donna Corrigan, Dana Hall’s Dean of Boarding Life. 

Ms. Corrigan added that the school is planning to expand the app’s services to day-students and utilize other REACH features to streamline different processes. 

The REACH app was founded in October 2012 by Steve Montgomery. On the official website, the founders state that “ReachBoarding allows schools to manage risk, build efficiencies, and facilitate real-time communication to promote harmony throughout your residential community.” 

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