Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2018

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26 Hudson Valley Parent n October 2018 when she has a particular concern. The Valley Central School District in Montgomery uses the parent portal at the middle and high school levels to provide grades, assignment and progress updates and other information. The elementary level portals are less extensive but plans are being made to expand on the information available. Valley Central describes the parent portal as a schooltool, which connects you with your student anytime, anywhere and lets parents enter into an exciting partnership with your child and the district. Kingston City School District also uses a parent portal giving parents immediate access to their child's schedule, progress reports, NYS Assessment scores, Regents scores, and bus information. Many teachers or teams in the Kingston City School Districts also use their own websites, newsletters, blogs, and other modalities such as Class Dojo and Remind to communicate with families. Nothing can replace face-to-face communication But even though the delivery system for keeping up with her three children's academic progress has changed - primarily due to technologies such as the online parent portal that gives her By OLIVIA L. LAWRENCE R eport card day often arrives with a touch of excitement and perhaps a bit of anxiety, even now when modern communication gives parents and teachers plenty of opportunities to minimize surprises. While electronic communication is an important tool in tracking a student's progress, there's no substitute for face-to-face exchanges. Instant progress reports through online portals Ilene Maddalena has had kids in the Monroe-Woodbury school system long enough to remember when she'd get a hard-copy report card to sign and send back to the teacher. "These days, with my high schoolers, I pull that information up on my phone and it'll show the whole card. We'll talk about what's happening in each of the classes," says Maddalena. Parents can check on students' progress at all times by using the online parent portal. Maddalena adds that she refrains from checking too often but she does keep track. Some teachers use Google classroom, another resource for parents who want to keep up with assignments via email alerts. Maddalena has used this option access to all assignments, test scores, projects and deadlines - Maddalena's approach to communicating with her kids and their teachers about those grades has stayed basically the same. "I try to have my kids take ownership," she says. "And if my child isn't doing as well as expected, I ask, 'Why do you think this happened and what do you need to do about it?'" Maddalena, who serves as the region director for Central Hudson Region PTA, says parent involvement is key to helping one's own student. "Be as involved as you can in the classroom, district, and education. Communicate with the teacher whether there is a problem or not." Maddalena insists that there's no substitute for a face-to-face meeting between parents and teachers. "I go to all the parent-teacher conferences. I like to speak to the teacher to get a sense of how that teacher sees my child," she says. Marianne Serratore agrees that real time meetings with parents are critical components of working together towards student success. The mother of a son in sixth grade, and an adult daughter, this former elementary school principal now serves as director of curriculum for Valley Central schools. "We try to have a face to face with Parents of students in Kingston City Schools are aware of all assignments and progress including this special science project. Avoid report card surprises with constant communication Teachers share their advice on how to ensure success

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