By Irinna Schwenke
Skipping class and “forgetting” to show parents areport card are some of the joys of being in high school for some students. But what if there was a way for parents to check up on students from the comfort of a personal computer?
With the implementation of online grading and attendance, the art of cutting class might soon suffer some severe setbacks.
The Nebo School district has recently started using an online grading and attendance system. Middle, Junior, and High schools in the Nebo School district have transferred student records to a program called SIS 2000 plus, said Dale Bills, technical services supervisor for the Nebo School district.
Bills said that SIS plus is a piece of software owned by the state of Utah. It offers online grading programs which will make it possible for parents to access information about their child’s progress from the computer.
“We analyzed three different packages and chose to use the one the state offers. It has the features we need at a lower cost,” said Bills.
Due to technical difficulties, internet accessibility for parents is not yet available, said Bills.
“The online piece is not in operation yet, but the system should be up and running by October 9,” said Bills.
Principal Don Jones of Spanish Fork High School is very optimistic about the program.
“I don’t know how it is going to work, but it is very popular with parents and administrators. It’s good in theory. Anytime you can get more information about students out to the parents, you are a lot better off,” said Jones.
Elaine Hansen, a theatre arts teacher at Spanish Fork High School, is excited about the implementation of the online system.
“It is very quick to use and it makes information about students available to both teachers and parents instantaneously. It makes it easy for parents to check up on troubled children, and it helps parents stay on top of their child’s education,” said Hansen.
Each student has a unique code, limiting the number of people who can look up student information online. Information online can only be updated by parents who call and excuse student absences, said Hansen.
“For example, if I know that a student is skipping in the hall, but they tell their parents that they need to be out of class for something, I have no power to overrule the parents’ excused absence. Parents have the final word,” said Hansen.
The Nebo School district is currently the largest school district using the online system, said Hansen.
“It is very exciting because we are a prototype of what the entire nation will eventually be moving toward,” said Hansen.