Recently, North Bergen High School launched the Parent Portal, an online service that allows any parent with internet access to view their child’s grades, attendance, a calendar of assignments, and any disciplinary measures taken.
The portal was developed by the New Jersey-based company Realtime Inc., which stays current with state educational requirements.
“We found one software company that packaged everything we needed,” said Business Administrator Steven Somick.
The district had made an effort in the past to use a system called PowerSchool, but it proved difficult to use, said Supervisor of Guidance Allen Pascual.
An estimated 500 parents attended North Bergen High School’s Parent Portal Powerpoint Workshop that took place on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the auditorium. According to Pascual, who ran the workshop, 400 parents have already signed up for the Parent Portal. He hopes there will be 75 to 80 percent parent participation by the end of the year.
“They don’t have to leave their house to be informed,” said Pascual.
Service begins this weekend
Parents can now access their child’s attendance, updated by 10:30 a.m. daily.
Some of the present and future features of the service include the ability to see what classes their child has chosen for next year; a calendar of assignments due; the ability to email teachers; a gradebook to view a child’s academic progress; any disciplinary actions taken; grades for standardized tests, and correspondence, allowing parents to view any letters sent to their home which may have been intercepted.
“We found one software company that packaged everything we needed.” – Business Administrator Steven Somick
Pascual joked at the workshop that “Students are not happy about the Parent Portal, for the obvious reasons.”
After the workshop, high school guidance counselors were on hand to help parents with questions.
Pascual said the parents that have been in Parent Portal “absolutely love it.”
“[Parents] can pay attention to what their child’s doing in school,” said first year Guidance Counselor Jessica Connelly.
Parents Brigida Rodriguez and Jorge Lara said that their son is going to hate Parent Portal, but they sure do appreciate it.
Parent Jeanette Naoum wants “to have an idea of how [her daughter is] doing in school.”
“I hope that she’s not cutting class,” joked parent John Mezquita, who is looking forward to viewing his daughter’s grades.
Freshmen Katherine Reyes and Aris Puente liked the ability to view their own grades. Students were scheduled to gain access to Realtime on Friday, Oct. 12, although they won’t be able to see everything their parents see.
“Students can personally keep track of [their] grade,” said Puente.
“I think it’s good for students because they need that push,” said student Justin Sutherland.
Access to the Parent Portal is terminated once a child has graduated from the school district.
Elementary schools get Parent Portal
North Bergen elementary schools must determine how they will introduce the Parent Portal. At a recent meeting at the Board of Education building with the school’s principals, Pascual recommended that each school have someone in charge.
Administrative staff from other schools were present at the workshop, including Vice Principal Edward Narucki from Franklin School, Vice Principal Czar Wiley from Robert Fulton, Principal Francis Pastore of Lincoln School, and guidance counselors from several elementary schools.
Pascual said that elementary schools should be using Realtime by the end of the month.
“It’s all in the process now of being completely refined and developed,” said Pascual.
“The next part is [doing the] same thing with elementary schools after the first marking period,” said Superintendent Robert Dandorph.
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org