Posted Date: 08/07/2020
Board members on first reading is are considering a revision to Board Policy 5035 which would allow school sites to inform parents about student progress and report cards through electronic means rather than printed materials.
The Board will consider final approval during second reading at its August 10 meeting. You can view the proposed changes here.
Dr. Todd Nelson, senior executive director of Research, Design and Assessment, said the revision to the policy involves two changes in practice.
The first change allows elementary teachers to inform parents using a variety of ways (documented phone call, e-mail, or paper) when a student’s performance is possibly failing or has declined significantly.
“The obligation on the part of the teacher to informing parents remains intact,” Nelson reported. “In addition, a committee has been formed to review the necessity of printing elementary report cards and the alternative of supporting online parent-portal access to grades and attendance information. Although the practice is not mentioned in board policy, we want the board to be aware that a change in this area is being explored.”
The second change in practice removes the requirement for secondary schools to print and send home or mail report cards.
“The information on student progress that is accessible by computer or phone app is much more detailed and timelier than the printed progress report,” Nelson stated. “Parents are encouraged and supported in opening an Infinite Campus portal account to access available information on grades, assignments, attendance, and assessment that is updated in real time.”
All secondary students have portal accounts to access their own progress and are shown how to use the student portal at school. When parents or students need a printed report card, they may print either a report card or an unofficial transcript from the portal. School personnel are also able to print report cards for parents upon request at any time.
This change will save the district more than $6,000 per year in mailing expenses and six-to-10 days of personnel costs that recently increased because elementary report cards were also mailed home for spring semester.
“We believe that the COVID-19 adjustments have led to a critical mass of parents that access grades and other student information online in English and Spanish,” Nelson stated. “With this revision in policy, we will intensify our efforts to confirm portal access for parents, including establishing portal login at the time of student enrollment.”