23, Mar 2012
Posted by admin
Parents, over the years, have had many different methods of tracking their childrenâ€™s attendance and progress in school. Whereas before, parents may have had to rely on their children relaying information back to them, or spies letting them know of their childrenâ€™s whereabouts, now one Oklahoma school district has made it easier than ever by granting parents access to student records through a smart phone app.
Tahlequah School District in Tahlequah, Okla. has partnered with School Connect, a mobile education app developer based out of Norman, Okla., to create this powerful tool that would give parents unprecedented access to student progress.
â€śThere really is no place to hide now,â€ť TPS Superintendent Dr. Shannon Goodsell said to The Tahlequah Daily Press. â€śParents can come to the board of education office, show a photo identification, and we will give them a username and password to access all of their childâ€™s information.â€ť
The app would allow parents to have access to grade books, discipline records and attendance records. Parents will easily be able to pull up grades from each teacher and from each project or assignment. These will be instantly updated as soon as the teacher posts the information into the system, and also alerting parents of school absences.
Additionally the app will provide links to local, state and federal sites; district calendars; access to tap screens for email and phone numbers of district staff and board members; lunch menus; athletics information; and district announcements.
Another important tool is the ability for administrators to instantly send out messages to anyone with the app as well. This provides the critical ability to get information out about drills and emergencies.
Parents have been able to access their studentsâ€™ records online for a while now through other programs. For example, the web-based program Pinnacle has been available to many different schools for a few years now, but does not yet have a smart phone app.
This is the first time that parents will have complete and easy access through their phones.
â€śPeople rely on their mobile devices for everything â€“ contact, news, messaging, scheduling â€“ so schools serious about community engagement are serious about robust mobile platforms,â€ť Dr. Nick Migliorino, former Tahlequah High School principal, and president of School Connect said to The Tahlequah Daily Press.
The app comes at a time when parental involvement and school attendance have become a crucial topic in the education reform discussion. Earlier this year President Obama made a point of discussing the importance of school attendance and curbing high school dropouts.
While the app is only available for Tahlequah School District, if it is successful more school districts may adopt similar programs. The app is now available in both the Apple and Android app stores.
â€śParents love it, and students probably hate it,â€ť Goodsell said.