San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 21st, 2008
School district unveils ‘parent portal’

STAFF REPORT

Remember the days when you didn’t have to worry that your parents would track your schoolwork so closely? Your kids won’t be so lucky.

Administrators unveiled a test run of a new “parent portal” Monday night at the Hays CISD Board of Trustees meeting. The portal will enable parents to see their children’s attendance, schedules, reported grades and assignment grades, TAKS scores and missed assignments.

The portal is available now for any parent who downloads the application form from the district web site. A “dropdown” menu from the Parents link on the district website (www.hayscisd.net) will reveal instructions on how to sign up and use the parent portal, said Linda Rosebrock, Hays CISD Webmaster. Parents can fill out an access request form, then email or mail a completed form to the district office.

“The information on the form needs to match the information in our student data system,” Rosebrock said.

Because a signature is required, emailed forms should be a scanned PDF format.

A link to the district’s grading standards, plus an email address for technical assistance are also on the parent portal page.

“If there are technical issues with the portal, parents can send an email to this address,” Rosebrock said. “If they have an issue with a grade, we ask they first speak with their child. If the issue isn’t resolved, we ask they contact the child’s teacher and then contact their campus administrators.”

Marcia McClendon, Hays CISD Coordinator of Instructional Technology, assured the school board that most teachers are doing well with the new electronic gradebook, called Classroom Plus.

“We are requiring teachers to post the grades weekly so that when parents do go into the portal, they will be able to view the grades in a timely fashion,” McClendon said.

Dianne Borreson, Hays CISD Executive Director of Instructional Technology, assured the board that several security measures — automated verification checks within the system — are in place.

“Parents can monitor the progress of their children,” Borreson said. “The portal itself is just a window into our system to see what’s going on. It improves communication. It will be better in the long run.”

In January, parents/guardians in the district will receive letters and fact sheets about the portal and announcing training sessions that will be offered at the campuses.

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