USD 234 offers parents online access

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A new online program implemented at Fort Scott High School and Fort Scott Middle School now allows parents to keep a close eye on their children's academic progress.

With Intouch Online, which is accessed via the Internet, parents will be able to access the students' grades, attendance and discipline reports. USD 234 Superintendent Rick Werling said the purpose of the program is to "increase communication between the school and the home."

"Now, parents will not always have to call in to ask about their children," Werling said. "They can just go online. We think it's an important tool."

Parents can register for the program at the schools or by calling FSHS at (620) 223-0600 or FSMS at (620) 223-3262.

To register online, parents must visit for the middle school and for the high school. At those Web sites, parents will need to click on the "register online" link near the top of the page. They will then be asked to enter some personal information, such as name, address and telephone number. The registration form will be sent to the school.

After registration is complete -- the process could take five to seven days -- the school will create a user name and password for the parent. Once the name is created, the school will contact the parent, who must then pick up the user name and password in person at the school.

After receiving that information, parents will have access to their students' reports at any time by using the aforementioned Internet links. Parents can access their child's records each year through the 12th grade.

FSMS Principal Barbara Albright described the program as "really awesome" and said it is just one step that schools are taking to improve communication.

"We think there should be a communication triangle," she said. "That should be between parents, teachers and school administrators."

FSHS Principal Bob Beckham said the program also cuts down the time it previously took for parents to obtain their students' reports.

"Parents are busy during the day, and teachers are busy during the day," Beckham said. "It's hard for them to find time to talk to each other. Now, mom and dad can take five minutes after their work day and access the information."

He added that those parents who have utilized the program, himself included, are impressed by the new capabilities.

"They all speak very highly of it," he said. "I get on it, and I think it's neat that you can access so much information."

While the program may appear to be more of a "watch dog" tool for parents, Albright said the purpose of it is just the opposite.

"It's not really there for parents just to check up on their kids," Albright said. "It's there to allow parents to follow the student's progress. It should be a team thing, not one side watching the other."

At the same time, however, the program will prevent students from hiding any bad grade reports from their parents.

"If a student should happen to fall behind," Albright said, "the parent will be able to see that they have a zero and have the opportunity to ask why. You and I both know how costly a zero can be, and the students need to understand how costly a zero could be."

For more information about the program, contact FSHS or FSMS or visit USD 234's Web site,