Fort Worth ISD Makes Rhithm Bio-Social Testing App Optional

Rhithm, a Dallas social-emotional learning and mental health startup, raised $4 million in a seed round last year for its emoji-based bio-social assessments app, which is now used by over 2,400 schools in 29 states, according to the company. One district that adopted the app is Fort Worth ISD—and it recently announced a change in how the app will be used.

The Rhithm app was launched during the pandemic to help track students’ mental health and well-being.  By clicking on mood-identifying emojis, students can express in a few clicks how they’re they’re feeling—revealing insights into their mental, energy, emotional, physical, and social states. The goal is to identify challenges the students may be facing that could inhibit their learning.

But some parents raised concerns about such efforts, the Dallas Morning News reported, and wanted more say in what their kids were asked by schools in the district.

In response, Fort Worth ISD now says families in the city must “opt in” to enable their children to use the Rhithm app. The DMN noted that the district’s policy varies for other surveys or questionnaires.

 

“Fort Worth ISD parents: we hear you, and we have created a process that gives you a greater say in the district surveys your child takes,” Fort Worth ISD said in a statement announcing the new policy. 

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