Bay Parent Portal to Give Parents Access to Children's Grades and More

By: Kate Eckman
By: Kate Eckman

Bay District School officials say this will be a key component for parents who want to become more involved in their child's educational future. It's called the Bay Parent Portal.

Tuesday, school district officials previewed the new online computer service for county school board members.

Superintendent James McCalister said, "I'm so proud of it because one of the things we hear from the public is, 'we didn't know that our son or daughter was doing poorly or that their attendance was poor.' Now they don't have to wait for a four-and-a-half-week period for them to get a progress report. They can get it on a daily basis."

McCalister says he wants to make sure Bay District is technologically up to speed.

"My greatest hope is that parents will now have access at their fingertips any place, 24 hours a day, to what their students are doing in school."

The Parent Portal will allow parents immediate, up-to-date access to their child's grades, attendance, disciplinary issues, and graduation requirements, among other things.

They can even see their child's entire academic history going all the way back to kindergarten, but in order for the portal program to be successful, it has to be easy and accessible to parents.

The school district is even setting up computer stations at schools for parents who don't have access at home. For the most part, school board members were impressed by Tuesdays' preview.

"I think it's a great source of info for the future."

But there were questions about security.

Ron Danzey, a school board member, said, "Security is always an issue when you're talking about Internet access, but the staff here has assured us that they have done everything they can to make the site secure."

When the system launches around August 28, parents have to register and prove their identity in person to get a user ID and password. Once that's completed, they can begin helping their child achieve academic success.

The Parent Portal isn't the only technologically advanced project district officials are working on. They're moving toward a paperless system, which will include digital grade books for teachers. If you have any questions about the Bay Parent Portal, log on to www.bay.k12.fl.us.


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