Wake parents get instant access to students' grades

Posted December 17, 2009

— In the Wake County Public School System, parents don't have to wait until the end of a semester to see how their children are doing. They can check grades, attendance and discipline records any time on the Student/Parent Access Network, also known as SPAN.

“As long as I put it in, they can see the grade the student has in the class,” said Wakefield High School chemistry teacher Johnathan Waugh.

Wake parents get instant access to students' grades Wake parents get instant access to students' grades

Teachers enter the score of every test, quiz and homework assignment into an online grade book, and every student and parent can check the password-protected account. The scores are averaged so students know their overall grade in the class.

Sophomore Elizabeth Campbell, who said she earns As and Bs, likes the instant gratification.

“It’s good because then I can know how I need to change how I’m working, because I can tell my grades,” she said.

Teachers say the online system prompts parents to be proactive in their child's education.

“If something wasn’t turned in by a student, parents would have weeks before they know it. Now, they know right away,” Waugh said.

All Wake County public high schools use SPAN and about 75 percent of middle schools do as well. The district is working to make it available to all middle schools.

“There’s a lot of data you can get from it,” Waugh said. “It just kind of gives me an overall (class average). How did they do on that test? How did they do on that quiz? So, it provides instant feedback for me as well.”

Students still get hard copies of report cards, but there's no surprise what's on them.

When a school fully implements SPAN, students and parents can view the following information online: schedules, daily grades, academic progress reports for current classes, report cards and historical grades, attendance records and discipline records, according to school officials.

“Students in grades 8–11 will use SPAN to select courses online for the high school,” said school district spokesman Greg Thomas. “In the summer, rising ninth grade students can view their fall schedule and submit schedule change requests online.”


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  • slugolicious Dec 18, 2009

    @scorekeep - the grades comes from a read-only database. even if someone hacked in, all they could do is look at grades. i'd be happy for them to look at my kids' grades. maybe the hacker could help us figure out why they're not doing their homework...

  • scorekeep Dec 17, 2009

    How long before someone hacks the program?

  • momeeee Dec 17, 2009

    slugolicious - Would love to be able to do that - very good idea!

  • BraveHeart Dec 17, 2009

    Its so nice to see post on here about parents involment in their child's life....I take my hat off to all of you!!!

  • momeeee Dec 17, 2009

    Like some others here I agree it should be a great tool but unless the teachers update the grades it is useless!

  • slugolicious Dec 17, 2009

    I've been using SPAN for years. It's helped with homework but the current SPAN is just a start. One problem is that sometimes when a grade is finally recorded, it's too late to do anything about it. In particular, if homework is missing and a 0 is recorded, there have been times when the 0 wasn't entered until it was too late to make up the assignment.

    It would be so much better with a notification system built in. Since you already register your email with your SPAN account, it would be easy to send an automatic email when grades are entered. In fact, it would be nice if you could put a 'threshold' on grades. For example, if you wanted to be notified/emailed if a grade below a 70 was recorded.

    If you set your threshold to 101, then every grade that's recorded (assuming a grade can't be over 100) will cause an email. If you set it to 93 then you'll be notified on anything that's not an A, etc.

    I had offered to WCPSS to help do this pro bono but was not taken up on my offer.

  • HopingForABetterWorld Dec 17, 2009

    madddawg, twice a month is AWESOME. If you want to see more, ask your child to see the paper. Why can't parents take some responsibility and do the work for their child? Ask your child to see the papers. I'm sure they have grades on them.

  • superman Dec 17, 2009

    lyteoflife-- I suspose you think the teachers have office hours to answer e-mail and to post grades not to mention ready access to a computer. The difference in putting the grades in a grade book and putting them on a computer is pretty obvious. The grade book is on their desk. In order to put them on a computer you need a computer. Am surprised you didnt know that! Thirty or 40 teachers in a school-- how many computers do they have access to? But then little do I know from having taught in the public schools for 30 years. You should see the line at the copying machine in the afternoon after school from teachers trying to copy materials for their students the next day and you would understand. The machine was frequently "out of service", no toner, no paper or there was a line to use it. Nothing is ever as easy as it appears.

  • HopingForABetterWorld Dec 17, 2009

    Here's a novel idea. If your teacher isn't posting grades, TALK TO THEM. Don't sit here and call them lazy if you have NO IDEA why the grades aren't posted. There might actually be a good reason. If you want to start a teacher blame game, then let's start the parent blame game too.

  • sick Dec 17, 2009

    Roxboro Community School (charter school) has had this for 2 years! I love it! Our teachers always update grades. Sorry a lot of y'all have issues with teachers updating the grades! I love our teachers at RCS.