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Shelby County Public Schools: Students’ information now available on the go

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Apple app allows access to some Parent Portal info

By Todd Martin

Parents, guardians and students at Shelby County schools now can access more school information on the go.

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Earlier this month, the Kentucky Department of Education announced the addition of the Campus Mobile Portal App to tie in with the Infinite Campus Parent Portal that already was offered statewide.

Shelby County Public Schools has added the app, which is currently available only on Apple iOS devices (iPod touches, iPhones and iPads), and Mindy Stella, the district's student database manager, said she's excited about what the app can do and might mean for the district’s “Parent Portal.”

"The Parent Portal, maybe, isn't used as much as I'd like to see it used," she said. "But, since we've had this app available I've had a lot of calls to set up new accounts. So that's been a positive."

Once activated, parents and students can use the Parent Portal to track daily activities and progress in classes, including getting an average grade in classes.

Many of these tools are now also available through the mobile app, although a few things have not been activated yet on the mobile app.

"You can't see behavior information on the mobile app, which we do have activated through Parent Portal," Stella said. "And you can't see any health records or assessment scores, like MAP or ACT tests. But you can follow students' assignments, attendance, grades and schedules through the mobile app. You can also E-mail the teachers directly."

The state awarded the contract to Infinite Campus in 2006, and Stella said Shelby County was onboard by the 2008-09 school year.

"The program is a great way for parents to keep in touch with their children's progress," she said.

To get started, parents need to contact Stella, at 633-2375 ext. 225 or at mindy.stella@shelby.kyschools.us, to get a login password.

From there, Stella can activate the account or parents can activate it online. A login is also needed to download the app through iTunes.

"It's a little misleading that you can just go on and get the app," she said. "You have to have a login and an account set up for Parent Portal first."

But once the account is activated and the app downloaded, much of the information will be available almost anywhere.

"I guess a lot of people don't use their home computers as much since everything is available on their phones now," Stella said. "But for those families that aren't home very much, this will be a great way for them to follow their children's work."

And that access will only grow as an app for Android phones becomes available. Android-based phones make up about 40 percent of the smartphone market, while Apple's iOS-based phones are only about 28 percent, although Apple is by far the largest supplier of tablet computers, such as the iPad.

"They haven't set a timeframe for that yet," Stella said of an Android-based phone. "They'll only tell us that it is forthcoming."