Saturday, November 10, 2012

Allowing Parental Access to Grades in School

By Sean Scarpiello

As technology is advancing at such a rapid rate schools are always looking for new ways to implement new technologies. One innovative way to do this is by allowing parents access to every grade their children receive through an online system. Some schools have been doing this for the past few years, but overall not enough schools are taking advantage of this opportunity. There are several benefits to this idea for the students, parents, and teachers.

When I was a young student, my teachers would always try to keep our parents involved in the learning process. They did this by requiring us to have our daily assignment book signed by a parent and by having parents sign our graded tests. At the time, students had dreaded taking home a bad test grade, so some students would try forging signatures. Some students would even try turning the big red F on the top of the test to a B, in hopes of avoiding trouble with mom and dad. As I got older, we began to hear about programs online that would give our parent full access to all of our grades in class. We all dreaded the idea that this would be implemented and luckily for us, the technology was too expensive at the time. At this point in time, technology is further along and this option would be a cheap and effective way to get parents involved in their children’s education.

In college, we have a program that allows us to access our grades as tests and projects as they are graded. We are also able to view our participation grade and any other comments our teachers have for us in class. By implementing an online program where parents can log in and check up on their children’s progress, parents will be able to keep an eye on their children. This idea in and of itself is extremely important. Studies show that students with parents that are actively engaged in the learning process are more likely to succeed in school. A program such as this would offer parents and easy way to stay involved with school. This allows parents to keep their children on track with any readings or projects, along with any special questions or comments from the teacher. It also allows parents to ask their children how school was each day without the typical “nothing” response from their children. Plus, if parents place importance on school, then the student will also, thus ensuring success.

From the teacher’s perspective, students will succeed because parents are involved in their children’s schooling. This will also make it easier for parents to communicate with teachers for all sorts of reasons, whether it is good, bad, big, or small. When I went to school, a phone call home was always a bad thing. Now, with a program such as this, teachers will be able to give positive and negative reinforcement. These sorts of online programs also act as an electronic grade book, where teachers can update their grades and weigh different assignments in different ways. Many of these programs are so well designed that they completely eliminate the need for attendance sheets, progress reports, and more. By allowing running progress reports for parents and students, everyone can stay involved.

In all, there are a variety of different programs that schools can choose from to allow parental involvement in schools. By giving parents access to updated grades, comments, questions, and concerns from the teacher, there is a greater level of communication between school and home. This makes it easier for parents to stay actively engaged in their children’s class so that success in school is inevitable.

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