Featured Falcon: Daniel Mathew codes PHS daily schedule website


SMCS junior Daniel Mathew created the PHS Schedule website before the school year started, which helps students and staff keep track of the different Falcon Time and Advisory schedules each day. Daniel Mathew is also a captain of the PHS Computer Team, which focuses on web development and other computer science projects and partakes in competitions.

What inspired you to create the schedule website?

One week before school started, I got an email from my tenth grade computer science teacher Mr. Estep. He was the one that suggested the idea because the teachers were going into school earlier than the students and they had to deal with the schedule and were already having a horrible time. Mr. Estep (I’m so grateful that he reached out to me) sent me a list of all the school dates, the class schedules, and everything and he said, “Hey Daniel, can you create some type of website to organize it and display it on a daily basis?” So yeah, shoutout to Mr. Estep. He’s the best!

What was the process for making the website?

Mr. Estep sent me a calendar of all the school days and the calendar that had what schedule was on that day. He also sent me another document with the different types of schedules for Falcon Times and he also sent me another doc with all the delayed schedules and no school days. All I did was I compiled the information and made a website that was able to read from all these documents and it looked at what day it was, what the FIT schedule was, and then displayed it to the user on the website. 

What were some of the challenges you faced when creating the website?

Google docs really sucks because the documents that the school provided through google docs had this really weird formatting and it was a pain to try to parse out the necessary information. Whenever I would try to read like this date equals this schedule type, there would be some type of random text in the middle that I would have to try to figure out how to remove. That took a while but it took me a couple hours to figure out how to get over this google docs nonsense. Eventually it all sorted out. I think that was the hardest part of the website. 

How did you feel when your website first rose to popularity?

Again, Mr. Estep is literally the best teacher ever. He sent an email out to all the staff members saying, “Here’s a website that a student made that is in beta testing” (he specified that data testing, which means that it shouldn’t be out in the public yet) but the teachers loved the website and used it on all of their classrooms. I didn’t even spread the website. The teachers would show it on their promethean boards and people would copy the link and it spread from there. I had no role in advertising it at all, so it was all Mr. Estep. It feels good. I need to keep myself humble because I don’t want to be cocky but it’s a nice feeling to be recognized.

What are some additional features you hope to add to your website in the future?

I did one thing where we had World Cup predictions. That was a really fun idea. I want to do more of that kinda stuff. I get tons and tons of emails from students saying, “Oh, can you add this?” and sometimes I think that it’s a great idea but I never implement it or sometimes I just don’t respond (and I’m sorry to all the people I don’t respond to) but there are some really cool ideas. One of them is incorporating block schedules of the different programs so that students can get access to the current block schedules with the Poolesville schedule so that it’s easier for them. Someone also had an idea of having the Poolesville website being a central hub of having all the tools you need, so GradeView would be there, the schedule would be there, whatever you need. I also added an announcement feature to the website and I thought that was a cool idea because it’s like the daily announcements but on the schedule website. So those are some of the ideas I had for the website. Maybe I’ll add more if more people email me and I get more cool ideas.