GRADEBOOK Student Portal
The Parent Portal is now open. No, this isn’t some Dr. Who vortex waiting to suck away all parents who can’t seem to drop their kids off on time. It’s the 24/7 online access to a teacher’s grade book.
A couple of weeks ago, my school told the staff that they were going to roll-out the ability for parents to have access to our grade books online. Needless to say, many teachers grumbled and rumbled. As for me, it gave me pause, but I knew that the high school was already doing it, and it was merely a matter of time for the middle school. Besides, two of my four ELA classes this year are the 8th grade honors classes, and many times those parents have the expectation of access that goes hand in hand with being an active academic participant in their students’ lives. Keeping up on their student’s progress plays a part in that student’s success. Perhaps the thought is that if the grades are accessible enough, more parents of the mainstream and at-risk students will begin to play a greater role in their children’s learning too. I frankly deeply believe the writing is on the wall about such levels of access. It’s where we’re heading (and many schools already have), so it’s not a battle I’m interested in waging.
Besides, there are some pluses to this new transparency:
1. There is no longer such a thing as, “I had no idea how Little Johnny was doing. Nobody told me.” Wow. That’s really powerful stuff to be able to take Lack of Communication off the list of excuses as to why a parent has been inaccessible or not present for a student’s struggles.
2. It will light a fire under my tush to grade at a quicker pace. I’m not very sluggish at chipping away at that mountainous stack of essays, but I definitely appreciate the incentive to get things posted quicker. Sometimes those piles can really be overwhelming, and knowing that folks might be routinely checking for updates will aid in my own motivation to routinely get feedback to my students perhaps quicker than I do now.
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