Archive for Sunday, August 10, 2008

Online programs let parents check up on students

August 10, 2008


Parents with children in Lawrence public schools will now have more immediate access to information about them, such as grades, attendance, lunch money and what they're eating.

With programs such as Skyward and, the district is using the Internet to connect quickly with parents.

Skyward has been in the district internally for a year, but now it will allow for parents to have more access to student information.

In September, parents will start receiving letters from the district to confirm vital information about their family to limit access to information about their children.

"Once that's done, we'll give out their log-ins and passwords," said Frank Harwood, the division director of technology services.

"At first they will have access to just the student demographic information and attendance," he said. "After the first progress reports are done in each school, then they'll have access to grades and then also student schedules."

As the district and parents get more comfortable with the system, Skyward could potentially add course history, available classes for the next year, and get parents involved with online enrollment.

"It's a pretty robust system, and we have to make sure that as we're getting information out to parents, it's being used the way we think it should be," Harwood said.

"We're giving access to only the people that should see it," he said.

Not only can parents check on how their children are doing in class but also they can now have a watchful eye on what they're eating. is offering services to parents to keep food services accounts in order.

Parents can check balances, add money and even see what their child has purchased in the last 30 days.

"(It) allows them to make credit card payments into those accounts online, which is a first for us," said Julie Boyle, the district's director of communications.

Parents simply provide a zip code and e-mail address to the site. There is a $1.75 fee that goes to the Web site for each transaction. Parents putting money into multiple accounts are charged only one time.

Boyle thinks the online account management will help parents and the district.

"It's going to save us a lot of time and manpower and paper passing and processing, and for parents it's going to be very easy and simple to use," she said. "They can add money to their child's account at any time."

The site also sends out e-mail alerts when a child's balance is low. And though still in development, Boyle said, the site is working on making nutritional values available for the foods purchased.

"It's one more thing, one more way we're trying to provide parents more convenient, online accessible information," Boyle said.


hujiko 9 years, 8 months ago

soon the kids will be saying "we are the dead"

nascarmomma 9 years, 8 months ago

The $1.75 fee is stupid. I can send a check and there is no fee's. That makes more since. Also last year you could have $$ from a credit card deducted with no fee involved. I will be glad to access the balances though.

Ronda Miller 9 years, 8 months ago

I think this is a huge step in a positive direction with the parent's ability to oversee some of what their student/child is doing throughout the day. Smart thinking!

deskboy04 9 years, 8 months ago

It will be interesting to see. I think that the students get overcharged sometimes.

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