Education

New York City to Launch Tool to Help Parents Track Students’ Progress

By Denisa R. Superville — June 03, 2015 1 min read

The New York City district, the nation’s largest school system, is making it easier for parents to access their children’s grades, attendance, and other key information about how they are doing in school.

Through NYC Schools accounts, which will launch June 8, parents will be able to access their children’s attendance records, student profiles, and the contact information that’s on file for those students at school. When math and English language arts test scores are released in August, those will also be available to parents.

The records will be presented in 10 languages, and parents will be able to access the information on multiple devices—desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart phones—after creating an account.

A similar program—ARIS—existed for parents, but it was underused, according to the city’s department of education. That program cost the DOE about $95 million between 2007 and 2014, but only 3 percent of the city’s public school parents used it, according to the department.

The city says the new program is cheaper—$2 million to design—and will cost less than $4 million to develop and maintain over the next four years. And because parents can access it from desktops, laptops, and phones, city education officials hope it will get more traction than the previous version.

The department also stressed that the program was developed and will be maintained in-house, thereby limiting access to student data.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the parents’ accounts are part of the department’s continuing efforts to engage parents in their children’s education.

“This exciting new tool will empower families by delivering them timely information in a format that is easy to read on a mobile device—which is how so many of today’s parents access the Internet,” she said.

Farina added: “By launching NYC Schools accounts, we are encouraging parents to become more involved in their children’s education and hold themselves and their students accountable for progress.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.