Welcome, parents, to a new world in education! While plenty of things around here remain like our guiding principles, educational technology is changing the educational landscape. You may have noticed that your students need to access apps online to complete homework assignments or check their grades and that you need to access another platform to sign up for volunteer work and pay your tuition. You may need clarification so far but don’t worry. Below is an overview of everything you need to know about our tech platforms. Also, you can always reach out to your students’ teachers and our staff with your questions and concerns and we’ll be happy to provide you with the right info.
The first educational platform you need to know about is called ClassLink LAUNCHPAD. This student portal is easy to access and is a hub for all the learning apps your child will need. If you consider educational technology a pyramid, this app is the very top section. This is the tip of the iceberg. It provides students and their families with a digital curriculum, links, content apps, and more. The single sign-on simplifies access and enables secure password storage and management. Teachers can collect data to see how frequently students access each app and how valuable they are to the students. Don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming; digital handbooks are included to help you.
On the technology pyramid, this system falls right in the middle. We refer to blackbaud® LMS as each student’s instructional platform. It’s the primary online space where teachers, parents, and students communicate. This learning management system enables teachers to post classwork and other materials that students can access from anywhere. Our teachers use Google Classroom, and students will log in with a Google sign-in. Through this system, students learn academic independence and how to take more ownership of their school work. Of course, parents have access and can guide students as necessary and as they become more capable.
This is the central system we use to track data and student information. On our technology pyramid, SIS blackbaud® is the foundation. When parents are looking for general information, this is the first place we encourage you to look. The mission of this parent portal is to create open lines of communication between the school and parents. On this site, you can access information about lunches, dress codes, the school handbook, and the parent-student handbook. You can also access pertinent information about your child’s class, like homework assignments and your teacher’s personal page. You can use this site to pay your tuition, fill out school forms, and access the staff directory. Our hope is that SIS blackbaud® will be incredibly helpful to you and your family!
As you can see, technology has forever changed how we operate in and out of the classroom. Sometimes, we may wish that our children could live in the low-tech landscape we remember, but there’s no going back. There’s no chance of putting the technology genie back into the bottle. So, rather than wishing it were different, we want to help students and their families learn to navigate these valuable resources safely and responsibly.
On campus, we use Fortinet® web filtering, Google Safe Search via the Chrome Browser, and Securly® web filtering. We’re proactive about teaching responsible digital citizenship, and we monitor social well-being on an ongoing basis. In partnership with parents, we can teach this generation how to use technology safely and kindly.
We hope this broad technology overview has been helpful. Over the coming months, we’ll share more info on technology and digital citizenship to help your family navigate technology use and its connection to education. In the meantime, feel free to contact our office at any time if you have questions about these systems.