Remember when a child could tell a parent, “No, I don’t have any homework tonight” and the parent had no way to check? Now parents have their child’s information at their fingertips! Grades, homework, attendance, emails, links to handouts, school bulletins, and more are available to parents 24 hours a day with just the click of a mouse!
The amount of information available to parents depends on what their school district has set up. Many have Yahoo Groups set up for each school. Parents opt in to receiving email from Yahoo Groups and then, usually on a regular basis, your child’s school will send out bulletins and newsletters via Yahoo Groups. More and more schools are going “green” by sending out weekly newsletters via Yahoo Groups instead of the old fashion paper newsletter method. With reduced staffing in most schools, email newsletters save time, paper, and money.
Emails and Teacher Websites:
Parents now have easier access to teachers thanks to email and teacher websites. To find out what your child’s teacher’s email address is check the school’s website. Teachers often tend to prefer email because they are able to easily access it throughout the day while it takes more time and effort to access the school’s voicemail system to retrieve phone messages.
Many districts have provided teachers with their own website where they can post homework, attachments, and links to help with assignments. The teacher’s website and emails are a great way to keep up on your child’s work and most teachers do update their websites on a regular basis. Some teachers even post assignments that require a student to log onto a certain website with a user name and password, and submit the homework through the website. A teacher’s website is a valuable resource when your child misses school as it helps the student be informed about what they missed and allows them to get a head start on any work they may have missed.
School Loop & PowerSchool:
School Loop and PowerSchool are basically online grade books and homework calendars that parents have access to. The web-based student information systems provide easy access to everything a parent needs to know about their child in a nutshell and the systems are often used by middle and high schools.
PowerSchool allows parents access to their child’s grades, assignments, attendance, teacher’s email, the school’s bulletin, and other any other features that the school chooses to make available. Parents and students each have their own login to the system which allows the school to track if a student or parent is logging in. The system is easy to use and parent’s can even sign up to have progress reports emailed to them on a daily to a monthly basis.
School Loop is another online gradebook that provides information similar to PowerSchool. With School Loop, teachers can make “lockers” for their class. The class “locker” contains attachments such as homework assignments, and the syllabus. Students can also log in to their School Loop gradebook and save webpages and other information to their “locker.” School Loop provides parents with up to the minute gradebook access, homework at a glance for the week, emails to teachers, school announcements, and more. Another great feature is that every day, at a time set by the school, parents will receive an email containing the homework for the day, the student’s attendance, and their current grades. It’s a great way to stay on top of the multiple projects and assignments that a child has.
Technology Pro’s & Con’s:
It is important to remember that grades will fluctuate from day to day. What if you don’t have a computer at home or don’t have an email account? The advantage of online gradebooks, emails, and websites is that the information can be accessed from any computer-at work, the library, a friend’s house. For those who don’t have access to a computer, many schools will provide a paper newsletter to parents that request one. Parents can also put in a request with the school to have grades printed out and sent home on a regular basis.
School Loop: http://www.schoolloop.com/what/website-portfolio.aspx