Schools Web Site Making Grade Access Keeps Parents Connected

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski, Times-Union staff writer

BRUNSWICK -- Memo to students in Glynn County public schools: Technology has eliminated any plausible deniabilty you might have when your parents ask about your report card.

The school system has started a Web site that gives parents access to their child's report card, grade history, attendance record, class schedule and other school-related information.

MyGCBE, which stands for "My Glynn County Board of Education," opened its Internet door to parents this month. It began as a process to give teachers instant access to student information.

"The parental-access component was our ultimate goal," said Eric Rupert, the school district's systems analyst, who created the Web site and developed the software program that links parents via a secured account to information about their child contained in the district's central database.

Although most school districts in Georgia use some form of electronic record-keeping, education officials say the Glynn school system is the first in South Georgia to provide parental access to student information via the Internet.

"All the data contained on the site can only be accessed by a parent or legal guardian who uses a password that he or she created to access the student account," Rupert said. "Data transferred between the database and home computer is encrypted using the same type of technology that online banks and retailers use to protect their sensitive data."

Parents must register before being allowed access to student records, district spokesman Jim Weidhaas said.

"There is no charge to create an account," he said. "As a security precaution, the registration process involves information that only the parent would know, such as the child's Social Security number and other personal information."

Rupert, who began working on the program about 18 months ago, installed security measures to prevent computer hackers from altering information. …