Thursday, October 23, 2008

Report Card Day in RCSS

Report cards for the first nine weeks of school were distributed today (In the Richmond County school district). For parents and guardians who access iParent...there will be no surprises IF all of your student's teachers are using the electronic gradebook. Today should not be the first day that you learn the names of your student's teachers.

The school board passed a recommended iParent timeline for all schools to implement the iParent program starting with the 2nd 9 week period. This item was on the consent agenda for the Sept 2008 school board meeting. Does it mean the program is in place and operational in all schools? Have you received a notice for iParent orientation or an alternative appointment if you cannot make it to the school? Please come out when your school has iParent night and help other parents who may be new to using a computer or a student information system. Remember this is one step in bridging the digital disconnect.

Georgia School Keys PL 3.4 Partnerships to Support Student Learning’s operational strategy is to increase family involvement to support student learning through communicating with families about school programs and student progress.

iParent, a component of School Max, is an interactive web tool that allows parental access to a child’s attendance record, a list of grades along with the current average of each class recorded in the electronic iCue-Gradebook, and the current daily schedule of classes.

In the 2007-2008 school year, iParent was implemented in Davidson Fine Arts, Butler High, Westside High, Hephzibah High, ARC, C.T. Walker and East Augusta.

Currently, Cross Creek High, Morgan Road Middle, Tutt Middle and A.R. Johnson are in the process of implementing iParent. To fully implement iParent in the remaining Richmond County schools, the following actions must take place: (1) Family Information Sheets must be completed by parents, (2) teachers must be using iCue-Gradebook, and (3) a parent registration packet must be provided either through an on-site parent workshop or some other method of packet delivery. parents are you accessing the electronic gradebook offered by your school districts? If so, are all of your student's teachers using the program? Do you know who to contact if you have problems with program? Is a system in place to resolve questions and concerns, such as course changes, teacher additions/replacements, grades, tardies, and absences?

Do you know your student's teacher(s)? Do you know your student's counselor(s)? The school administrators? School support personnel? Do you know who your school board representative(s) are? Have you ever attended a School Advisory Meeting or a School Board Meeting? If not, can you access the agendas, budgets, and minutes online?

While your student may be attending school, remember that we are our child's first and lifelong teacher. From home training responsibilities, learning to tie a shoe, brushing teeth, table manners, taking care of family members or pets, riding a bike, driving a car, to financial matters. We cannot forget that our children are always learning from us, because of us, or in spite of us which includes interacting (or lack of) other adults.

Many of us grew up with parents, educators, and administrators living in the same community. You knew your neighbors, schools were a central part of the community, parent nights were never scheduled on the same night because families had children in school at all levels. Of course, we didn't have cell phones (only 25 years old), computers, Internet access at home and/or through local libraries.

So are you a participative parent? Your lifelong learning skills will improve as you learn about your school, the school system, and how it impacts your student. Be involved, self educate, and get to know the people where your student spends at least 1/3 of their day (more if they are involved in after school activities) for the 180 days they are in school.

As always, your recommendations, shared knowledge and experiences are always welcome whether it is your experience with electronic grade books to parent involvement. Please share a comment.
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