Bad Student’s Worst Nightmare: On-line Parents

Published July 1, 1999

One feature of a new ParentLink Suite™ offered by Sprint to K-12 schools may be a bad student’s worst nightmare come true. Parents, instead of coaxing information out of students or waiting until the end of a grading period for a formal report on their child’s progress, now can short-circuit the process and access grades 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The package helps schools leverage the power of increased parental involvement to improve student performance.

With the Sprint technology, teachers can easily and conveniently alert parents when grades improve or decline on homework or weekly quizzes. Teachers can report missed assignments, further opening lines of communications between parents and teachers. Reporting thresholds can be established for any single student or group of students.

What makes this possible is the three-component ParentLink Suite™, which consists of an Attendance Server, a Teacher’s Assistant, and ParentLink itself, which offers a Homework Hotline. These components give parents instant access to their children’s school information by telephone or Internet.

As a communications system that brings together parents, teachers, and students, ParentLink aims to enhance parents’ involvement in the education of their children. Parental involvement can dramatically improve children’s academic achievement.

“Research confirms that when parents are partners in their children’s education, the results are improved student achievement, better school attendance, reduced dropout rates, and decreased delinquency,” writes Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley.

Here are examples of how the Sprint technology can enrich the school_home connection.

Reducing Absenteeism

As well freeing up teacher time by automatically compiling attendance records, Attendance Server gives parents instant access to their children’s attendance records by individual class period as the school day progresses. If a child is absent or tardy for a class, the school can automatically phone parents at home or at work or notify them via the Internet. This quick response helps parents break the destructive cycle of student absenteeism, an early warning sign of at_risk student behavior.

Better Communications

ParentLink is an interactive voice response system that provides for outbound dialing, voice mail for parents and students, and a Homework Hotline where students and parents can check homework assignments, school club activities, and even lunch menus 24 hours a day. The system allows schools to deliver important messages to individual homes, groups of homes, or the parents of every student in the school. Enhanced features also allow schools to conduct automatic surveys.

Help Student Achievement

The Teacher’s Assistant module reports student progress to parents and also provides them with access to their children’s grades 24 hours a day, seven days a week.