2024-07-12 8:13 AM

F.C. Resident Launches App to Help Local Students & Families

When it comes to school calendars or college admission dates, everything can be found with a click of a mouse or tap of a finger. If a parent or parents find themselves still confused on where to look or what to click, one Falls Church resident made it even easier to access these various academic sources with a new app.  

Let’s face it, the internet has made finding one’s academic resources stress-free. However, for some people, the internet isn’t as simple as it seems, making it trickier for those who may not be “tech-savvy” to find access to important academic dates.   Peter Larsen saw these struggles and decided to do something about it. 

As a father of two high school graduates, Larsen said he came up with the idea of the app “out of pure frustration” after not being able to find his children’s spring break schedule while they were attending college. Laren said he then remembered how he would go through the same strife when his children were high school students; having to “dig all over” websites to find school calendars and other academic resources. 

“It should be right there for parents,” Larsen said, “instead of having to dig into one website and know whether you are looking at the right thing.” 

Enter the app “Whensit,” which came about two years ago when Larsen faced these difficulties, to finally December 31, 2022  when the app was officially launched. A person can use  the app to find running lists of academic resources such as college application deadlines and school calendars, and even social events such as upcoming concerts, conferences, or even movie and book releases. 

Nicknamed after the phrase “When is it,” people can find important dates for various Virginia schools and even out-of-state universities. Once finding a date that is needed, a user can click on the date and the app will export it on to one’s device. 

“[The team and I] looked and saw that nothing like [Whensit] was really out there,” Larsen said. “We really want this app to be something that parents in different communities can go to and find those important dates.” 

The WhensIt App (Photo: Peter Larsen)

To create the app, Larsen teamed up with Chetu, a software development company based in Homestead, Florida. Chetu was responsible for the technology that went into the creation of the app.. 

Since its launch almost two months ago, the app can be downloaded nationwide, with Larsen stating that 60 cities have been built into the app with various school systems, concert and sports venues and conferences in those cities. The feedback from users have been “really good” according to Larsen, with guidance counselors having reached out to him to state how Whensit has been used as a “toolbox” to help students and their families. 

Alan Jacobson is a friend of Larsen and also a local user of Whensit, having downloaded the app to keep up with his children’s high school sports dates, as well as upcoming State Theatre shows. Jacobson stated he thought  the app was a “great idea” as he also has faced challenges with trying to find important academic dates. 

“I think it’s got a lot of potential,” Jacobson said. “The more people use it, the more useful it will be.” 

Jacobson’s favorite part of using Whensit is the “convenience” of being able to find the events that he wants. He recommends that both Falls Church and surrounding communities download the app to reach a “snowball effect” that can allow Whensit to expand its resources to further areas and cities.  

Future goals for Whensit include including “all major school systems of the country built into it,” and for it to remain a useful app so everyone can use it no matter the circumstance. 

“I think if we can be the go-to thing for people as they’re preparing for their college admissions dates or for a busy [parent] who needs to know when their child’s school holiday is, that’s really the goal,” Larsen said.

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