November 27, 2020

WHS Helper App on the App Store to aid students in managing their schedules

Madelyn Peng ’21, Staff Writer

"The app's main purpose is to help students manage and keep track of their day-to-day high school schedule. It hopefully will help freshmen have an easier time adopting the schedule and save students precious seconds getting to class on time," said Kohnen. Photo courtesy of Zachary Kohnen.

On January 2, Zachary Kohnen ’21 published his self-created WHS Helper App to the App Store and Google Play for both Apple and Android devices. The app allows students to view their daily class schedules with the high school’s seven day cycle. The cost-free application contains a customizable user interface and only asks students to input their classes, block colors, teachers, and lunches once. 

Kohnen remembers feeling confused about the high school’s schedule cycle, which incentivized him to create the app as a simple way for students to determine their classes for the day. 

“My freshman year, I was very confused about how the new class schedule system worked. I wanted an easy way to just see what classes I had each day without wasting the extra time to get out my schedule sheet, figure out what day it was, and then decipher my handwriting,” said Kohnen. 

The idea for the app came from a student that Kohnen had met at a summer camp, who created a similar app called BB&N Knight Life at his own high school. He credits the user interface design of that app as the basis for that of the WHS Helper App. 

Valerie Passanisi ’21, a student who uses the WHS Helper App, says the app has helped her stay organized during the school day, especially when it comes to remembering which lunch she has.

“The Helper App is just like its name — super helpful. It was so easy to set up, and now that I have it, I can quickly know not only all of my classes for the day but also which lunch I have, which I always forget,” said Passanisi.

Computer science teacher Dr. Robert Cohen was happy to hear about Kohnen’s product.

“I’m glad that students are using computer science in the real world to solve community problems. It makes me proud to be doing what I’m doing,” said Cohen. 

Kohnen hopes to continue improving the app in the future. He would like to include an option for Journeys students to configure multiple advisories, use the classes and color blocks from Powerschool, automatically set alarms depending on that day’s start time, and write in notes for classes such as homework assignments. Kohnen also wants to extend the app’s use to parents of students at the high school. 

“I plan to add support for multiple students’ classes to be loaded into the app, so parents of many kids can easily track and help their schedules for the day,” said Kohnen.

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