Students in Albemarle County will no longer have to spend time staring out the windows of their homes waiting for their report cards to come. Now those report cards and most of the other information sent out by the school system will be delivered online.
Albemarle County Public Schools announced Tuesday that information including bus routes, teacher assignments, course schedules and syllabi will be made available on its existing Parent Portal and Blackboard messaging system websites. The goal, according to the school system, is to save money and increase the immediacy and depth of information.
“Both objectives are important,” said Billy Haun Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning. “We want to save every dollar we can, but at the same time, we’d like to make it easier for parents to be more involved on a more frequent basis with their child’s education.”
According to Haun, the changes could save more than $100,000 a year.
The idea was introduced as a pilot program at Sutherland Middle School two years ago, and according to the school system, use of the Parent Portal website at the Sutherland has been as high as 93 percent.
There are, however, many families in the county without Internet access and it’s an issue the school system said they are aware of.
The county created the Broadband Task Force in October to see how Internet access could be extended to underserved areas. The task force will release a findings report with next steps in July, based on a survey they conducted with county residents over the past few months.
Meanwhile, families without access to a computer are able to opt out of the online system and continue receiving the school information in paper form.