Parents in District 27's Wood Oaks Junior High School this week tried their hand at a new online system that will help them and their children keep track on the school year's many homework assignments and class projects.
The school on Tuesday held an orientation for parents on the Edline system, which will give parents and students a one-stop Web page to check what’s happening in each of their classes and in the school as a whole. Wood Oaks Principal Marc Schaffer said the school had been using teacher- created Web pages and e-mail, but the new system ensures all the information is up to date and puts it in one place so it’s easier to find.
Teachers and parents say the new system is a good replacement for the piles of paper assignments and notices that students once brought home in backpack - or sometimes left in the bottom of their lockers.
Andrea Roumi, whose son, Carlos, is an eighth-grader at the school, said the system is a big improvement. She said when Carlos entered the school as a sixth-grader, it was sometimes difficult for her to track what he needed to get done by certain deadlines.
The new system not only tells her what homework is due, but lets her download the worksheets and questions her son needs to complete, Roumi said. It’s a good way to make sure students aren’t falling behind, she said. “I can log on let’s say every Thursday, and I ask him ‘do you have your Monday assignment? Do you have your Tuesday project? Did you start on your next week’s project?’ If he has a big project in three weeks, it’s already” on his to-do list, and she has access to it, Roumi said.
Sixth–grade teacher Kimberly Leonteos said the tool proves especially helpful for sixth-graders who are adjusting to the busier junior high schedule. She updates her site every couple of days, and the process doesn’t take long, she said. Students who are home sick for a few days also have an easier time getting caught up because they can access assignments from home.
“I have seen great benefits to it so far this year. I think it’s a great tool for encouraging kids to be responsible and independent,” Leonteos said. “It’s a way for them to be checking their homework and staying on top of things and it allows us to expect more of them too.”