Website helps parents track grades, attendance

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News 12 First at Five, October 11, 2007

GROVETOWN, Ga. - Instead of Big Brother watching, i-Parent is watching students in Columbia County.

Parents are logging on to a web site to find out their child's grades in every class and on every assignment too.

"The parents love it. Students have another feeling about it. A lot of the students see it as their enemy," says Grovetown Middle School Counselor Diana Hess.

Hess says that's because in addition to grades, parents can check attendance and even read direct comments from their child's teachers.

"It's been a wonderful program. I've really really enjoyed having it," says Hess, who is also a mother of two Columbia County students.

Teachers say with i-Parent there's no excuse for parents not to be involved. Students may not share that same excitement.

"I don't like it because I get in trouble a lot," says 8th grader Erin Plaster.

Plaster's classmate, Joseph Myers adds, "It's good because yesterday my parents found out my grade in language arts so I didn't have to ask the teacher."

Despite the frowns from students, parents and teachers are all smiles because the program is helping tomorrow's leaders. And for that reason teachers says they would recommend i-Parent to any school system.

"Oh, absolutely," says Hess. "I have no idea what the program costs, but the benefits from it would have to far outweigh any cost associated with the program."

i-Parent may be coming to Richmond County. Four high schools have been selected to pilot test the program: Butler High School, Hephzibah High School, Westside High School and Davidson Magnet School.

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