Last updated: March 05. 2014 7:47AM - 873 Views

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The phone call was received at about 7:15 p.m. Monday.

An automated AlertNow message from Richmond County Schools indicated that the PowerSchool Parent Portal is now active. The portal is a secure online forum in which parents and legal guardians can access a wide range of real-time data, including attendance, grades, detailed assignment descriptions, school bulletins, calendars and even personal messages from teachers.

The automated message indicated that beginning Tuesday, parents could visit the main office of their child’s school with a photo ID and obtain log-in credentials. The online portal can be accessed at the following site: http://richmond.powerschool.com. Through each of the school’s websites, there also is an online tutorial and a place to proactively address frequently asked questions.

This initiative can ultimately be a time-saver for teachers, as they can direct parents to this site first prior to having conversations about in-class performance, grades or almost anything else. It doesn’t cut out the one-on-one relationship between a parent and teacher but more fully integrates, involves and informs the parent. Now the parent can be armed with full knowledge of his or her child’s performance before the conversation with the teacher begins — the bulk of the information is at their fingertips, only a few clicks away.

This online forum is a tool for parents who work odd shifts, long hours or far away and, in the past, have been unable to conveniently communicate with their child’s teachers. It can be for those parents whose children answer the question, “What happened in school today” with “I don’t know.”

As many teachers will attest, a student’s success depends not only on his or her individual motivation. It does not rest squarely on the effectiveness of a teacher. A student can strive for a solid work ethic, and have the very best of teachers, but without support at home, the path to high school graduation and transition into college and the real world will be a rocky one.

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