S. Routt school powers up

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South Routt Elementary School in Yampa is changing how it reports on student progress.

At a meeting of the South Routt School Board on Thursday night, elementary school Principal Kim Raybon showed board members an expanded version of PowerSchool, the online system used by district schools to track student achievement.

Through the PowerSchool sys--tem, Raybon said, parents of elementary students can use a specific username and password to access a detailed report of their children's progress in key academic areas, known as "essential outcomes." Teachers update the reports frequently during the school year, and parents can even receive e-mail updates on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

"Parents can go in and see where their child is on any of the essential outcomes at any time," Raybon told board members, demonstrating how to use the Web site with a projection of her laptop monitor.

Identifying essential academic outcomes is part of a "professional learning community" educational method used at the elementary school. Hayden schools use professional learning communities, as well, encouraging interaction and collaboration among teachers.

Raybon told board members that the paper report cards issued to parents have been changed to fit the new educational method. Report cards from South Routt Elementary School now have many more written comments from teachers, in each subject area.

Although Soroco Middle School and Soroco High School Principal James Chamberlin said district schools have used the PowerSchool system for more than three years, board members were impressed with the system's new additions and lengthier reports.

"I wish we had this when my kids were in school," School Board President Tim Corrigan said.

Parents without Internet access can request print-outs of data from South Routt schools, or they can use computers in the elementary school's parent services room, Raybon said.

Most schools in the region provide online academic reports for parents. Superintendent Kelly Reed said administrators from several area districts, however, have expressed interest in switching to the PowerSchool system.

"I think in our region, this is going to be the standard," Reed said.

The next meeting of the South Routt School Board is Jan. 19.

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