Technology Committee Meeting 1/19/11

After our last meeting I brought back to the administrative team your concerns about opening the parent portal.  As a result, we decided to wait and launch the parent portal next year.  We will use this year to gather information.  As a Northfield parent, I just got a letter saying they are opening up their parent portal - I signed up (my daughter is in kindergarten).  I will be interested to see what it looks like.  They have School Fusion too.  I would like a team of us from the committee to meet with some other schools to hear about the process they used.  If you are interested please let me know.  


Use this forum to pose questions that you would like us to ask the other schools.  


In addition are there any other questions concerns....   





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In the two other districts I worked in, both have grade-books open to students, but not school fusion. You were able to open an access your child's information only. I know at our team meeting, the team was concerned about what the parents could view or to see an example. I think when we present this for next year we need to have an example (like we did with the report cards) available to show at team meetings.

A second concern from the team meeting was how teachers would input information. I know we all have a lot on our plates, and maybe because I embrace technology, I think our realtime gradebook is simple and I use it often. Maybe administration should hint towards the frequency of putting in grades.


I will admit, my biggest downfall in taking period attendance on realtime/gradebook. I just wish there was a simpler way to do it. I take morning attendance and use that for my daily, but I know sometimes students are at guidance, band, nurse, etc. and period attendance would benefit parents realizing how often student is out of class.

Concerns I have heard in the past from teachers in other districts using the parent portal revolved around getting started....teachers would've liked a way to guide parents to handling questions they may have, appropriately.  I think in whatever letter that is going to go out explaining the system to parents, it should include some examples of questions they may have for teachers and perhaps the answers to those that we can foresee.  In addition, giving parents examples of appropriate ways to handle other questions they may have for teachers could be addressed. I would be happy to be on the team to discuss the process with other distrcits.

I know...LOVE this idea! I was going to inter-office it to you and then OBVIOUSLY received that info as well! Was the info on student grading/assessment useful?

I am excited to see how the Parent Portal in Northfield will be varied for each specific grade level and as a parent of a Kindergarten, Third Grade, and 6th Grade Middle School Student, I will hopefully get a good, clear idea!

Interested in learning more about sharing documents, videos, and pics SAFELY for parents to view and enjoy!!


When I first started teaching in the district I paid for a online grade book where I gave parents access to their child's grades.  The stystem was very nice as it autumatically sent a parent an email when their child did not do well on an assignment, or you could set it up to email parents to give their child praise as they did very well on a particular assignment.  I would be interested to see how our parent portal looks before I could really comment too much on the effectiveness.  In addition at the time the grading scale was much different at the 33%, 33%, 33%, and therefore I entered my homework grades into the grade book on a weekly basis.  Now that homework is 10% of a child's grade and doesn't really affect their average, I enter their homework in on a montly basis.  My biggest concern is how we explain to parents how often the gradebook is updated by the teacher, as each teacher may currently have their own process for recording assignments.  Some serious time, experimentation, and trails should be conducted to find out what the best method for doing this is. 

Gathering information and seeing examples and how it is used will help us to envision what it could look like in our district.  I am glad to hear Northfield has varied it according to grade levels.  Although I use the Realtime Gradebook, I feel it is geared towards the upper grades which is my concern for the parent portal.   What information do we want to share with parents?  What information do parents need from us?  Are they the same?  Is there a way to practice it before it is opened up for public viewing to work out the a trial run?

I agree with Joan. I want to be able to take full advantage of the benefits of technology. I often feel the primary classrooms may not be as involved, and I'd like to use the portal to show more than just grades. Some ideas may include...podcasts of students reading/writing...even video documentaries for parents which may include a multitude of topics, homework help, school/home curriculum connections, and more!



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