New ‘virtual report card’ will provide key stats to support families in tracking student progress. Mobile-friendly design will give parents access to key information from phones, tablets, desktops
NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced the launch of NYC Schools accounts, a new easy-to-use tool for parents to view critical information about their children, including grades, attendance records, and the contact information on file at the school. State test scores will be added after they are released. The account, which parents can sign up for starting June 8, gives families the ability to view student information on mobile devices, furthering the DOE’s commitment to bringing parents into school communities as critical partners in their children’s education. Parents or guardians will be able to sign up for a NYC Schools account using their personal email addresses, create their own passwords, and access information about all their children through one account.
Student information will be easy to view on any type of device and will be available in ten languages. The NYC Schools account will enable parents to see information they formerly found in ARIS, a system that cost the DOE $95 million between 2007 and 2014 but was heavily underused: in the 2012-2013 school year, only 3 percent of parents logged in. The NYC Schools account was designed in-house for less than $2 million and will cost under $4 million for further development and maintenance over the next four years.
“This exciting new tool will empower families by delivering them timely information in a format that is easy to read on a mobile device – which is how so many of today’s parents access the Internet,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This continues our effort to engage parents across all mediums by meeting them where they are. By launching NYC Schools accounts, we are encouraging parents to become more involved in their children’s education and hold themselves and their students accountable for progress.”
“NYC Schools accounts can be used across digital devices – whether it’s a parent’s smartphone, tablet, laptop or home computer, parents will now have access to their child’s academic progress at their fingertips,” said Jesse Mojica, Executive Director of the Division of Family and Community Engagement. “This easy-to-use tool is a crucial step toward building strong partnerships with families and complements the 40 minutes set aside for parent engagement which schools use to help parents support their child’s learning. In addition, as part of a systemwide commitment to increase parent participation, the DOE has provided resources for parent coordinators, as well as District and Borough Family Advocates.”
“This new system is very parent-friendly, and easy to use and navigate,” said Melanie Mendonca, the parent of a recent NYC high school graduate. “I wish it was in place years ago. It is very convenient that you don’t need separate passwords for each child in the system.”
“As a busy parent, it can be hard to always keep up with all my children’s school information,” said Esther Jordan-Jacobs, the parent of a fourth grader.“The NYC Schools account gives me the data I’m looking for in an easy-to-read way and helps me follow my son’s progress.”
When NYC Schools accounts are initially released on June 8, families will be able to use the tool to view current attendance records, student profiles, and the contact information on file at their school. Final report card grades will be online when they are issued at the end of the school year. State test scores for math, English Language Arts, and Regents exams will be available after they are released by the State. Historical data, such as previous years’ grades and scores, will also be added later in 2015. The accounts have a built-in comment feature, allowing DOE to gather feedback to improve user experience.
Parents must register for an account at their child’s school, where their identities can be verified. To further ensure the privacy of information in NYC Schools accounts, all student data is encrypted. The system is entirely built and maintained by the DOE and no outside entity or vendor has access. The DOE will provide guidance to school leaders on communicating with parents on how to register and is scheduling parent workshops for the summer.
In addition, the DOE recently released two tools for school staff that will allow all school leaders across the City to more easily and accurately measure student progress and use those findings to improve their schools. Using the new tools, principals and teachers will be able to identify and support struggling students earlier than ever before, identify and address performance trends at their schools, and track current and former students’ progress over time. The Progress to Graduation Tracker will be available to high schools and transfer high schools, while the School Performance Data Explorer will be available to all schools.