Peter - 

MMU is using a combination of Schoology LMS (school-wide) and Schoolmaster Gradebook, which includes the FamilyLink component for students and parents to access current grades.

Schoology access allows parents to see ALL homework assignments in ALL classes, but they cannot see assignments that are Google Docs nor can they see the actual student work. We encourage parents to ask their student to show them these if necessary (fostering parent-student communication is part of our job these days.) 20% of parents registered for access last year, but the system was new and I anticipate higher participation this year. Schoology does give us analytics but only for the past 30 days. One of my goals is to look at this more often this year to get a better sense of the data.

FamilLink (formerly PASS) has higher participation, but everyone needs to accept that there is always a lag between when an assignment is due and when it is graded. The expectation is that grades are entered within two weeks, and we emphasize that this is only a "snapshot" of current progress.

Last year we sent information about these systems over the summer, but that got lost in many households (not timely, out of context.) This year we have waited until the coming week to send out parent access information, which I hope will be more effective. Teachers also reference both of these systems during Open House and Parent Conferences, which is likely more effective than a letter. 

As the community (teachers, parents AND students) gains understanding of how these systems work, I believe we are moving toward a transparent process where everyone knows (or can if they wish) what work needs to be done and current grades. Schoology access in particular has already made a huge difference when it comes to support staff (SPED and IAs) supporting students outside of class and keeping in touch with teacher expectations. Add to that the growing use of email between students and teachers, and the whole process is becoming clearer and more effective.

I hope this helps,

Eric Hall
Technology Integration Specialist
Mount Mansfield Union High School
Chittenden East SU

No trees were injured in the creation of this message, but a significant number of electrons were inconvenienced.

On Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 12:24 PM, Drescher, Peter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I am needed to speak about ways parents use technology to keep abreast of school activities, grade reporting, etc. etc. 


I could really use some “on-the-ground” experiences with this topic.. I can speak well to the overall reason we do it, some examples of systems, etc. but would like some info around these topics to round it out...


--What percentages of parents generally do access online resources about their child.. ( I know that will vary but any figures to give me the range would help)

---What systems do you have parental access available?  SIS?  Alertnow?  Any other data programs? 

--What general Resources do you find them accessing on line.. via website. And can you tell it is parents?  Do you have specific Parent places on your website?

--back to my second one.. name a few systems that you have parent portals—powerschool?  Infinite Campus?  Schoology? , etc. etc.

--How do you communicate to parents that you have these services available to them? 

--How do you help teachers get on board with providing the information to parents? 


Any others?  ESPECIALLY.. anecdotal examples whereby parent access has really made a difference for a student.


You can post here, you can respond to me off-list  OR  better.. call me and we’ll chat for a few minutes.. need this by Wed. of next week..


Would so appreciate any help you can offer...




Peter Drescher

Education Technology Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Education

Transformation and Innovation Division

219 N. Main St. Suite 402,

Barre VT 05641

Ph.: 802.479.1169

[log in to unmask]

Twitter: VTED_Technology




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