Correction, 10/28: Ms. Tania Sharp’s full name and title are now given on first reference; Senior Angie Lopez’s full name is now given on first reference.
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Coming back from the summer, students in District 308 were greeted by a big change: Tyler SIS. The new grade portal system has replaced Home Access in an effort to streamline student information.
Students and parents can now access grades via the Tyler Technologies app and Tyler Portal website.
The new system has some helpful resources that the previous lacked.
“It keeps track of comments and disciplinary things, which I think is important,” Pamela Phelps, a science teacher at Oswego High School, said. “Let’s say I have a student who turned in a lab for AP Biology that’s an exact copy of someone else’s lab. So, I write a referral for that and I note it so if it happens again, it’ll show up on their record.”
Some differences in the new grade portal include a new excessive absences section, non-resident parents, and a current location tab.
“All of the functionality and the options and opportunities that Tyler has makes it a one-stop-shop for [everyone in the district],” Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction Ms. Tania Sharp said.
While students and parents are now getting used to the new system, there was some initial concern as to why the school district waited so long to give students their login information.
“I am a little confused about the [frustration over the] communication piece because communication has been going out to the community since last spring,” Ms. Sharp said. “It’s definitely been going out to parent emails, to social media… The communication has been very consistent.”
The system was introduced on July 30 through a letter to parents. However, the school district sent out an email to students detailing the new system – and student login information – on Aug. 29, two weeks after school started.
“I think that’s a great time to roll it out to students,” Ms. Sharp said.
Mrs. Phelps, who is also a parent in the district, confirmed that parents received login information before school started.
“Then on the Monday before school started, we had a three-hour training session with our department on how to use it,” Phelps said.
Since parents received information about the new system before students, some students were frustrated during the first few weeks of school.
Senior Angie Lopez explained where her frustration came from.
“Some assignments are already going in; as an AP and honors student, I want to see my assignments going in and see what the grades are,” Lopez said.
Despite the initial difficulties, it seems that the student body is learning how to work with the new system.
“It seems much more organized and clean,” Lopez said. “I can see how it’d be helpful, but it’s kind of annoying there’s a different [username and] password [for parents and students].”