As the new school year approaches, students won’t be the only ones showing off their new upgrades. The Montclair School district is mobilizing this summer to bring students and families a new and more comprehensive student data system called Skyward in which they will not only access grades online, but manage assignments, view sports schedules, change emergency contact information, and much more.
Skyward Family Access will be fully operational in September and will replace StarPortal. Students and their parents can continue to track their grades and attendance with Skyward, but its additional features will provide more convenience. The one I’m most excited about? When an assignment or test appears in the grade log and a grade has not yet been entered, a zero will not automatically be factored into the marking period average. (That will save me a lot of stress!) In addition, Skyward has a section in which students can view their current, past and missed assignments that teachers will keep updated daily, acting as a virtual assignment pad. A calendar will also show upcoming tests and major assignment due dates. To aid disorganized families in keeping track of significant writing assignments and projects, a portfolio feature enables users to save digital files of their work in their account for future use.
For athletes, Skyward will provide other benefits. Updated game and practice schedules will be available without having to make the separate online check to HighSchoolSports.net. Instead of waiting for a text or e-mail from a coach, athletes can check for cancellations on their own.
Continuing in the spirit of the one-stop-shop, Skyward users also have access to their bus schedules, locker combos, and updated community service log. Standardized state test scores like the HSPA will eventually be available, but current scores will not show up immediately, as data is still being transferred over from StarPortal.
Skyward should also please parents with several helpful features. For one, parents and caregivers with an authorized access code can update or change personal contact and emergency information just with the click of a mouse. Additionally, teacher conferences can be scheduled online with a display of available time slots. Parents can reserve these time slots without making a call to request a meeting.
Although the necessary back-to-school and emergency forms will be mailed out this year, in addition to being available online, hard copies of the forms will be eliminated in future years and will be exclusively available online, saving the district a huge postage expense.