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Weston schools: Parent Portal offers access

District Data Coordinator Richard Lindwall, left, reviews the Weston school district’s updated Parent Portal with Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Craw.  —Patricia Gay photo

District Data Coordinator Richard Lindwall, left, reviews the Weston school district’s updated Parent Portal with Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Craw. —Patricia Gay photo

With just a few computer clicks, Weston parents can now access more information about their children and school work through an updated “Parent Portal” on the schools district website, westonps.org.

Parents of students in K-12 will be able to check their children’s grades and attendance, and in an effort to go green, they can also fill out all student information forms on the “PowerSchool Parent Portal” tab, eliminating the need for paper forms.

Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Craw said parents will be getting a “snail mail” letter this week explaining the Parent Portal and how to use it.

“Once parents fill out the information online, they can access the portal and find out who their children are having for teachers this coming year,” Dr. Craw said.

Improvements were made to the portal from last year, and will now allow parents with multiple children in the schools to access information in one single sign-on. In the past, each child’s account had to be accessed separately. “It’s much easier now,” Dr. Craw said.

Parents will be issued an access ID and access password allowing them to link to their children’s accounts.

One feature of the portal is it allows parents to view a listing of a child’s assignments and grades for each course as they become available online. Parents can click on the current grade average for their child’s course and view the assignments entered to date that are represented in that average.

If a teacher has particular comments about the child, there is an area where messages from the teacher will be displayed. The school bulletin will also be available on the portal.

The goal of the Parent Portal is to provide more efficient and timely information to parents, Mr. Craw said. Student information is centralized on the website and can be accessed by parents 24/7.

Steps 

Once parents receive their access IDs and access passwords in the mail, they need to create an account by following these steps:

Go to the website: westonps.org.

Click on Parents, then click on PowerSchool, and then PowerSchool Parent Portal.

Click on Create Account and enter name, email address, desired username, and password.

Then enter the student’s information: Name, access ID, access password, and relationship.

Once complete, click Enter.

Parents will receive a message that the account has been created. Parents can then login to the PowerSchool Parent Portal with the username and password selected during the account creation process.

Wireless access

In other technological news at the schools, the Weston Intermediate School will now have wireless remote access for students.

In March, wireless (WiFi) remote access went live at the high school and middle schools, allowing students to use their own personal wireless electronic devices as “virtual desktops” to plug into the school network and get homework assignments, write papers, do labs, and keep track of notes and records.

Now intermediate school students in grades three through five can do the same.

The three basic components of remote access for the students are Windows Live, virtual desktops, and Web-based applications.

Windows Live allows greater collaboration among students and their teachers.

Each student will have a Windows Live ID, which allows them to create documents online in Microsoft Office 2010, even if they do not have this version on their computer at home.

Virtual desktops allow students to access the same programs and applications they use at school from practically anywhere they have access to a computer connected to the Internet.

Web-based applications run on a Web browser and do not require special hardware or special computers to use them. Applications and data are stored on the server, allowing students to start an assignment in school, continue it after school, and complete it at home.

Dr. Craw said wireless access for the high school and middle school went very well last year, with no complaints.

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