Aiken County schools prepare to launch "PowerSchool" district-wide

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News 12 First @ Five -- January 11, 2009

WAGENER, S.C. --- A user name and a password is all Aiken County parents will need to check out what their kids are doing in class in real-time.

"Beforehand I would have to come out, arrange a meeting with the teacher so we could sit down and discuss her grades. But now, it's so easy, I can just go on-line from home and view her grades," said parent Latonya Bynem. She uses the new PowerSchool software to monitor exactly what her seventh grade daughter does at A.L. Corbett middle before she even leaves the classroom.

From grades, to attendance, even setting up conferences; Latonya says PowerSchool is empowering. "My child had a tendency of hiding things from me. But now, there's no hiding. I got my own password and user id and I can go in and see what I want to see," said Bynem.

Parents say the best thing about PowerSchool is it allows them to know everything about their child's education all at the click of a mouse.

Serving more than 8 million students worldwide, PowerSchool not only can motivate parents to get connected to the classroom, it also can motivate students to push themselves in class.

"I have seen that change in other classes to where they're putting forth more effort into getting better grades," said A.L. Corbett teacher Jeni Lambert. She says the program is making the students hold themselves accountable for their own grades. "The children can also look at their grades on-line if the parents give them the password then they can keep up with their own progress," said Lambert.

And for parents like Latonya, PowerSchool is what they need to link parents to teachers in the best way possible.

The school district will open the program to all schools starting at the end of the month. To get a user-name and password, contact your child's school.