New Way for Parents to Connect to Classroom

Written by Dedrick Russell

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There's now a new way for parents to connect to their child's classroom.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg  school district launched the Parent Assistant computer program. Moms and dads can keep track of their child - no matter where they are.

Logging on to Parent assistant will allow parents to say goodbye to the old way of communication.

"That will cut down on me having to call the school and leave a message for teachers. This is easy access for me." said CMS parent Alana McClendon.

Alana McClendon has three kids who attend Montclaire Elementary. The computer program will allow this mom and other parents to check on their child's attendance, assignments, grades and behavior...24 hours a days a week.

"The parent will also know what they need to work on with their child especially if their child's grades are not what they need to be." said McClendon.

Teachers will now have extra work to do. They must input the data so parents can get real time information. Teacher Melissa Van Horn says this about her new assignment.

"It's going to be beneficial because ultimately we're here to see our kids succeed. And any involvement we can get from parents will help children succeed." said CMS 5th grade teacher Melissa Van Horn

Leah Davis is Van Horn's principal

"We'll have to set timelines and things like that for grade levels to input data." said Montclaire ES Principal Leah Davis

This computer program sounds good..But is it only for certain parents?

"A lot of our parents don't even have computer access." said Davis

About 80 percent of CMS parents use the computer regularly..but for those who don't..schools will set up libraries and computer labs so parents can log in to keep track of their children.  And the district and McClendon believe the easier it is for parents to find out how their child is doing in school...the quicker academic improvement will happen in the classroom.

Last school year middle and high school parents had access to parent assistant.  About 20 thousand parents logged-on daily... now the district expects that number to double.