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14-year-old designs FWCS app

FORT WAYNE – Fort Wayne Community Schools got a great bargain this year by having one of its own students design something that other districts spend thousands of dollars to produce: a free mobile app.

Chance McKibben, a 14-year-old at Blackhawk Middle School, created a mobile app for the district that can be used on iPhones, iPads, Androids and other mobile devices. After downloading the app, people can use it to check school supply lists, calendars, lunch menus, grades and more.

The app will also send alerts about weather delays, cancellations and other important announcements.

McKibben, who first started working on the app during the spring semester, said he spent most of the summer fine-tuning the project.

After district leaders learned about the app, they suggested some tweaks that McKibben then incorporated.

District officials unveiled the app Wednesday. They paid McKibben less than $1,000, and officials acknowledged that some districts can spend up to $20,000 on similar work.

FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson said she was proud of McKibben and wanted to broadcast his achievement.

“We think it’s a big deal when an eighth grader can provide so much service to the entire community,” she said.

The free app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play by searching for Fort Wayne Community Schools.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s print edition of the Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m.