Edline program to keep students, parents informed

Published 11:34 pm Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Picayune School District recently adopted a new system for informing the parents of high school and junior high school students — and the students — on how the student is progressing through the school year.

Grades, announcements and class schedules are available online at the Picayune School District’s Edline service, said Picayune High School Co-Principal Christie Pinero.

Through the service students can see weekly updates to calendars of events and quiz and test schedules complete with grades, Pinero said. Also available on the service are lunch menus and website links to the Picayune Municipal Separate School District and the Mississippi Department of Education.

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About 400 students have activated their accounts so far, but even if a student does not activate his or her account, a parent can still access the student’s information after the parent has activated a separate account, Pinero said. The accounts are kept separate to keep the system secure and the parents up to date.

If a student is sick, or needs a reminder of what the assignments were or will be, all they have to do is click on the classes using the account number and a list of assignments will be displayed. While the system was designed to be user friendly, the process is new and teachers and the school administration are still learning the system.

Pinero said there may be a link in the future to post ideas to better the service.

For the parents who have more than one child in a Picayune school that supports the program, they will have the option to view one or all their students at a time. All the parent needs is Internet access and the activation code that is available at the school office, Pinero said.

The activation codes limit who can view a student’s information. Parents can access only the information concerning their own children, and a student can access only the information concerning himself or herself.

Another handy option is the ability to double check personal information the school has for accuracy or for past credits a student may or may not have received, Pinero said.

“If parents and kids are using this program, they can help us catch our mistakes,” Pinero said.

Parents will have access to disciplinary actions that may have been taken against their high school or junior high students, along with weekly grade updates to keep them informed.

Pinero said all the information in the system will be updated twice a week and uploaded to the Mississippi Department of Education data base for its review.

In most instances where teachers keep up with the system, grades can be displayed even before quizzes or tests are handed back to students. Pinero said she asks teachers to update the information for students in their classes weekly. While teachers are asked to maintain a certain amount of information for their classes, Pinero said she encourages teachers who want to add special touches to the site for their students and their students’ parents.

Parents need to stop by Picayune Memorial High School for high school students or Picayune Junior High School for junior high students to get their activation codes before they can initiate their accounts.

“If they will come and activate their account, they will have just tons of information,” Pinero said.

The site also will have information on college scholarships and where to go to apply for them. In the future, there may be links to print out applications and instructions on where to turn them in, Pinero said. The program also will give parents and students an avenue to have questions answered by teachers or administrators via e-mail.

“You can’t go on there and not think it’s neat,” Pinero said.