North Ogden Junior High Adopts Gradebook Solution
A few years ago North Ogden Junior High in Weber County, Utah, had no computers, no network and no software to speak of.
Teachers spent long hours doing grade calculations, yet parents and students were in the dark until report card time.
The staff was overburdened recording daily attendance from paper forms and inputting quarterly grades to their district's administrative software. "We spent all this time coloring in scanforms," says teacher Ron Farnsworth, of his quarterly grading process.
“...[With Edline] teachers click to post GradeQuick's
detailed progress reports so families can view this
secure up-to-date information form home.”
Jackson Software's GradeQuick, a cross-platform gradebook, resolves those issues. GradeQuick integrates with most administrative packages in the market, including North Ogden's AS400 CIMS system from NCS.
GradeQuick eliminates thousands of dollars in scanforms, freeing staff from time-consuming and error-prone manual data entry, and keeping parents up-to-date via the Internet.
At the beginning of every class, teachers simply click on their seating chart to send attendance lists directly to the school or district office.
GradeQuick keeps grade calculations updated and at the end of the quarter instantly sends them to CIMS at report card time.
Student view of an Edline class page. Shortcuts to grade reports and calendars appear in the upper left corner.
Using the Edline Web service, teachers click to post GradeQuick's detailed progress reports so families can view this secure up-to-date information from home.
They can also post calendars, homework assignments, news and more. This is critical in helping inform parents before report card time.
"Several years ago we dreamed of an integrated system where each school communicated effortlessly with the [Weber County] district," says Farnsworth, who helped implement the software.
“GradeQuick eliminates thousands of dollars in
scanforms, freeing staff from time-consuming and error-prone manual data entry...”
"We wanted one solution that would download rosters, upload grades, comments and attendance. We wanted to leverage new technologies like the Internet to keep parents informed of their child's progress, attendance and missing work in a timely fashion."
So, Weber County started searching, comparing and contrasting software seeking the best solution, which ended up being Jackson Software's GradeQuick.
Today, nearly every school in this 35-school district uses the Jackson solution. "We bought a total, comprehensive package - it's the approach I recommend - that way you don't fall into the trap of finding some key features that require some other major implementation later on," says Dr. David Lundstrom, district technology director.
GradeQuick's dynamic link between the teachers' gradebooks and a school's student information system provides many advantages.
It eliminates the job of manually entering class rosters. It also automatically updates teacher class files so teachers know immediately when new students have been added or dropped to or from their class.
“Edline operates similarly to My Yahoo!,
but is easier because it integrates
[with our software]...”
Before Jackson brought Edline to Weber, District Associate Technology Director David Brooks says his use of Internet-related products was hit-and-miss. "Prior to our roll out we had a tremendous amount of pressure from parents for something like Edline," says Brooks.
We needed a platform independent solution and were already extremely pleased with GradeQuick; adopting Edline naturally followed."
Edline provides each member of the school community access to a personalized view of all relevant school information, such as their private grade reports, a calendar integrating their personal events and assignments, and Web pages for school classes and activities.
Exactly what information schools wish to post on Edline is up to the individual school or district, and permissions can be set at many different levels.
"It can be as simple or as sophisticated as a teacher wants it to be. Teachers can just post grades with one click from GradeQuick, or have a full-fledged Web site with photos and everything," says Brooks.
Edline operates similarly to My Yahoo!, but is easier because it integrates with the school's existing software.
“Parents with several children in different grades,or even different schools, use one [Edline] login...”
Parents with several children in different grades, or even different schools, use one login to access information about all of their children.
Weber County parents are now using Edline as a means to check up on teacher assignments, due dates, missing work, materials needed for projects and more.
Parents view of Edline school home page. Shortcuts to each child appear in the upper left corner.
“Edline provides us with a simple but powerful toolto communicate with parents and staff.”
"It isn't so much that the parents are watching students and asking if they did their work as it is a different way to help students," says Don Tanner, Fremont High School assistant principal and parent. "It's more to look and see where students are falling down and address that."
"Anytime you can provide parents with information about their student, it is a positive," adds Brooks. "Edline provides us with a simple, but powerful tool to communicate with parents and staff."
Chicago, IL 60606
This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.