By Samantha Smith
A free and anonymous phone application offered by Hays CISD allows students, faculty and staff an opportunity message in whenever they are experiencing tough times.
The text-message based program called the Hays Hopeline allows the district to reach out to students who may be experiencing an emotional crisis.
Hays CISD public information officer Tim Savoy said the Hopeline is designed to be user-friendly for today’s tech-savvy student population. It’s offered through an application for smart phones that operates in the same format as a text message.
“We wanted to have a way to reach out to kids on their turf,” Savoy said. “They’re on smartphones and it’s easier. We felt it would be more comfortable to text a concern in, than make a phone call.”
Through the Hays Hopeline, a person with a concern can send a text message, which is immediately sent to a school counselor and to the head of counseling.
Savoy said there hasn’t been a very high volume of users since the app was introduced three years ago.
But the severity of content that the Hopeline receives more than makes up for the sporadic usage.
Savoy said the Hopeline serves approximately one user a month and anyone with connections to the Hays CISD school district can use it.
“But those one or two per month we get, they’re serious enough to where we’re glad they have those tools for parents and students to reach out to,” Savoy said.
The Hopeline is part of what the district pays for their website and mobile application package. The district also has a link on their website for the hopeline.
Although the Hopeline is not a 24-hour hotline, a user interacting with the application on their smart phone can be sent to a toll-free national crisis hotline.
According to Savoy, the success of the Hays Hope-line program is measured through the severity of issues the Hopeline has helped users deal with.
“The Hope-line is an indispensible tool for Hays CISD,” Savoy said.
To access the Hays Hope-line users can find the Hyperlink on the Hays CISD website at www.hayscisd.net/parents or download the free Hays CISD district app from the Apple App store or Google Play Android app store and access the Hope-line that way.
“The Hope-line is free, anonymous, and user friendly so everyone can access it,” Savoy said.