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Parent Tools FAQs Back to Parent Tools

Below are frequently asked questions about the Parent Tools feature. If your question isn't answered here, then please use this form to send us your question.

General

What are Parent Tools?
The Parent Tools system allows parents of students in our online school to track their students' progress. This system is available to parents of students in all classes except Special Seminar courses and WOOT courses.
How do I use Parent Tools?

If you have not already signed up for Parent Tools, you can sign up by following the instructions on this page.

Once signed up, you can visit this page to determine which automatic emails you'd like to receive as well as to generate an on-demand version of the progress report emails.

Is Parent Tools available for all classes?
Parent Tools is available for all courses except our Special Seminars and WOOT courses. Those two types of courses do not have any online assignments, so progress reports cannot be automated.
Do I have to sign up for each class my child is enrolled in?
Nope! You only need to fill out the form once, and you'll stay registered. You can opt out of receiving the emails at any time by logging in to the Parent Tools page.
When are progress report emails sent?

Progress report emails are sent once a week, two days after the most recent class. So, if your student has a class that meets on Thursdays, then the homework will be due at the end of the day on Friday, and that information will be collected and sent to you via the progress report email on Saturday.

You may also request an up-to-date report at any time by logging in on this page, and you should receive it within a few minutes of your request.

Reports

What information is included in the progress report emails?

The PDF Progress Report will provide you with information about your student's homework performance, and the quality of their participation in class. This page in our School Handbook provides more information about the types of homework in your student's class, and this page provides more information about the colors we use to communicate progress.

These emails will also include a link to a separate Problem Report, which contains the student's results on the Short Answer Challenge Problems as well as detailed information about any Writing Problems. If your student's class has Writing Problems, we encourage you to keep an eye on your student's Writing Problem progress, as this is the best way we have found to truly understand how students are performing in their classes.

You can learn more about these reports on this page of our School Handbook.

Why are some bars missing?
The weekly writing problems take extra time to grade, since they are graded by hand and personalized feedback is written for each student. Because of this, the score for the most recent writing problem will still be incomplete at the time that the progress report is sent.
Why isn't there a letter grade?

The information in this report is generated automatically. We believe that in order to assign a letter grade, we need to look much deeper into the student's performance. For example, how did the student grow over the course? Was the student active on the Message Board? How did the student interact with other members of the class? Did the student help to drive the class discussion? What was the content of the student's work on the writing problems?

We also believe that giving an interim letter grade invites parents and students to ignore what's actually happening in the report we provide. This report gives a much more robust view of how your child is performing in our course.

At the end of a Subject course, we can provide a letter grade upon request. You'll find more information about grades and documentation on this page of the School Handbook.

How do I tell how well my student's doing in the course without an interim letter grade?

We understand that a grade is a key. It tries to quickly provide information about a student's level of understanding of the material contained within a course. While the course is in progress, though, we want to give you a more thorough picture of how your student is doing.

However, students are told that their progress bars will turn green when the system has evaulated that they've done enough work to "pass" that particular component of the week's work. As a result, we can give this one guideline: if every bar on a student's report is green or blue at the end of the course, then we will always give that student an A.

This page of the School Handbook provides more information about the colors we use to communicate on the reports, and you can read about how we can translate student progress into grades at the end of a subject course on this page.