Originally posted February 20, 2008
Union offers parents look at grades
by: DAVID SCHULTE Tulsa World Staff Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
Parents who have children at Union Public Schools can monitor their children's grades through the district's Web site.
A new link, Parents Online, was recently added to the district's Web site, www.unionps.org, to connect parents to their children's grades from any computer with Internet access, said Kirt Hartzler, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.
Making it possible for parents to view grades online represents a recent trend in education technology, he said.
"This is something that is going to be more pervasive for public schools," Hartzler said. "It's a way for schools to communicate better to parents.
"You will see more schools over time put these types of programs in place."
Last fall, the district piloted the program by having a group of parents try the online service.
Judy Bastemeyer, president of Union Parent Teacher Association Council, participated in the parent group.
"I loved it," she said. "It's a great communication tool between parents, children and teachers. You can go online anytime and see your child's grades in any subject."
No one in the parent group opposed the online link that connected parents to their children's grades, she said.
The link provides a password and other security features that keep parents from viewing other children's grades, Hartzler said.
The link gives parents access to their children's class schedule, assignments and attendance record.
Union teachers will be expected to record grades on the district Web site.
"Teachers will have to be diligent in posting grades," Hartzler said.
Glenda Puett, president of the Union Classroom Teachers Association, said educators in the district welcomed the additional task of posting grades online.
"The more contact that we have with parents, the better education that the child has. We want to be working together with parents," said Puett, who teaches in the gifted and talented program at Peters Elementary School, 2900 W. College St. in Broken Arrow.
Parents need to know that major assignments, such as research projects and tests, can significantly affect their children's grades should they view schoolwork on a daily basis, Hartzler said.
Union parents who do not have Internet access will be able to use the Internet in the media center at their children's schools, said Gretchen Haas-Bethell, executive director of communications at Union.
The district is also in the process of partnering with area businesses that will allow parents to use a computer kiosk to check grades online, she said.