The Epitaph Issue 2
Published: October 30, 2014
By Shauli Bar-On
Admin Activate Web-Based Reports
Traditional paper report cards are becoming obsolete, thanks to Homestead’s new Infinite Campus web-based reports.
Instead of handing out progress reports and end-of-semester report cards, the administration now posts these documents online.
Homestead is the last FUHSD school to open these portals, as the four other district schools have been posting grades on Infinite Campus since the 2011-2012 school year.
“Infinite Campus is our student information center,” School Data Processing Specialist Barbara Olson, who oversees Infinite Campus activities, said. “Everything about our students, attendance, our classes, our parents, emergency contacts… it contains all of that information.”
Homestead has used SchoolLoop, an online website that connects students and teachers, for years. Students and parents are strongly encouraged to create an account in order to stay updated with schoolwork.
“SchoolLoop really helps me manage my homework schedule and lets me know what classes I need to focus more on,” junior Ori Klein said.
However, while SchoolLoop does show grades, it does not display final reports or attendance records.
Having progress reports online ensures parents have the opportunity to see their children’s progress reports, report cards and attendance.
“The positive is that any parent who’s got an activation on IC can go online and look,” Olson said.
Saving about 8,000 sheets of paper yearly, “online reports are a step towards progress,” Olson said.
Some students and parents dislike the idea of online reports, as parents are much less likely to log in and view them.
“I think less people saw [the recent progress reports] because it takes more effort from the individual,” Klein said.
The school, however, has a variety of ways to encourage and assist parents and students with logging in and viewing these reports.
A letter was sent out last year, in December, with each parent’s activation code and login instructions. In addition, the Online Tools Help link on the Homestead website provides step-by-step instructions on the set up and login process.
On October 27, a “Los Padres” meeting was held to teach Spanish-speaking parents about Infinite Campus.
Additionally, an email can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Parents are eager to get their accounts set up; Olson receives roughly 50 emails a week asking for activation codes.
To ensure parents with struggling students are notified, an additional progress report is mailed home to students who have a D or F on their report card.
Olson said parental support directly correlates to a student’s academic success, and Infinite Campus is one of the best ways parents can stay involved.
“I think that [parental support] is key,” Olson said. “Parents are students’ first teachers.”
According to a study by the Center for Public Education, students with involved parents normally attend school on a regular basis, earn higher grades and test scores, are more likely to go to college and are prone to have healthy social skills.
“Parents are playing a major role in their child’s academic achievement and success,” parent Zahava Zuniga said. “A parent can facilitate and direct their child to the appropriate choices in the curriculum. A parent can provide academic assistance when needed.”