New app reports issues inside Philly public schools

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Healthy Schools Tracker app is a new way to report concerns inside Philadelphia public schools.

"With technology today, we are able to do things we could never do before," Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan said.

Action News has covered the mold, asbestos, and vermin issues inside some city schools.

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Deplorable conditions found in Philly schools: Chad Pradelli investigates on Action News at 11 p.m., May 10, 2018

Jordan says the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers launched the app with an eye on addressing the concerns that pile up in aging buildings.

"If we're able to identify a problem early enough and get that repair completed, it's going to save the district money," Jordan said.

Once you download the app, you can specify the problem, what school, and upload pictures.

"With the pictures, we're able to see immediately the severity of the problem," Jordan said.

Jim Creedon, a consultant working for the school district on operation and facilities issues, was brought on in July.

"It will be a useful tool, as long as the information gets to the district in a timely way, we are able to manage it in a timely way," Creedon said.

Creedon explains the school district already gets about 100 work orders a day, has been making progress, and is bolstering staffing levels to make more.

He says a mid-year budget adjustment has allowed the district to start hiring additional cleaners, roving crews, environmental response staff, and more in maintenance trades.

To be clear, the school district already has a protocol in place for reporting these types of problems. Officials say, while it works, they will be incorporating what they learn from this app into the way they do things.

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