October 4, 2008

Greensburg Salem Lets Parents Track Progress Online

By Bob Stiles

Parents of students in grades 6 through 12 in the Greensburg Salem School District will be able to check their children's assignments and academic progress without leaving their homes or picking up a telephone.

Chris Suppo, district technology coordinator, said the hope is to use the district's Internet Web page to give parents a better look at their child's performance.

The service has been offered only to parents of eighth-graders because the district was testing the system, he said.

"We had so many positive comments before from our eighth-grade parents" that the district decided to expand the offering, Suppo said during a school board meeting Wednesday.

Parents would go to the district's Web page and click on "e- schoolbook login." They will be taken to another Internet page, where they will enter a login and password.

From that point, the parents can look at summary information about their child's education.

Suppo said a letter will be sent to parents in a few weeks to explain how the Web section will work.

Superintendent Tom Yarabinetz noted to directors that even with this and other improvements made to the Web page, the district is only "scratching the surface" of possibilities.

"A Web page is one of the things that's never done" because it is constantly improving, Suppo said.

Another change made to the Web site in the last few weeks involves a revolving "calendar at a glance," which lists such events as Parent-Teacher Association meetings. Another improvement allows parents to see closures or delays caused by bad weather.

Other changes include a listing of food menus, more detailed individual teacher pages and a contact form, which enables parents to ask questions.

"It's worked very well," Suppo said.

He said a goal is to have education sessions so all teachers know how to operate and add to their Web pages. Some teachers actively use their pages, while others don't, mostly because they don't know how, Suppo said.

The Web address is www.greensburgsalem.org

In another matter at the school board meeting, Yarabinetz updated the status of building projects.

He said the work on the new roof at the middle school should be finished in about a week. Yarabinetz said brick and masonry work mostly involves spot work on loose mortar and stone areas around doors.

New railings at the high school and Amos K. Hutchinson Elementary School have been delivered.

"They're saying in about a week they'll have it done," the superintendent said.

District officials are continuing to assess what type of material should be used for a new railing at the middle school to ensure durability, according to Yarabinetz.

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