Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 5:33 pm | Fair with Haze 74º


New System in Santa Maria Puts Student Grades at Parents’ Fingertips

Teachers and staff are encouraging parents to use modern technology that provides a thumbnail report on student progress.

It is Aeries, which provides Santa Maria Joint Union High School District parents and students with information about assignments, attendance, grade trends and weekly progress reports. Teachers at Santa Maria, Ernest Righetti, Pioneer Valley and Delta high schools are inputting the information into the system.

Parents are urged to sign up for Aeries, officially called the Aeries Student Information System/Parent Portal, and will receive a welcome message when registration is completed. The system, which is available in English and Spanish, can be accessed on the school site web pages. Parents can personalize what information they want sent to their email or smartphones by utilizing parent notification preferences.

Anybody who has an email in the system will receive weekly grade updates. If you don’t have an email in the system, contact your school’s website for instructions on how to sign up for the Aeries portal.

The detailed information is only available to parents, students and legal guardians.

Righetti mother Christine Reade, who also has served as a long-term substitute teacher, believes data is invaluable.

"I appreciate that I don't need to wait for the mail to view my daughter's progress report at the six-week period,'' said Reade, who uses it to monitor attendance, academics, scores and send teachers emails. "I am always surprised when a parent seems surprised at their son or daughter's 'cuts' or grade changes. Information is so accessible through the portal. Communication between the parent and teacher seems so much better because this resource is available.''

The district has used Aeries for several years, though the parent portal has been in operation for three years. The coloring on Aeries portal has changed this year from classic blue to steel.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson knows teachers recognize that ongoing and meaningful communication with parents is a critical component of student success.

“I appreciate this proactive approach by our dedicated teachers," Dr. Richardson said.

— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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