OnCourse System offers MHS online information

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

OnCourse Computer Systems has been installed and will be utilized by many Manila junior and senior high school teachers. In addition to being a successful web-based tool for teachers and administrators, students and parents will be able to access information from the site at home.

Pam Chipman, high school principal, and Diane Wagner, fifth through eighth grade principal, are excited about the new system.

"We are just starting and every day we find more and more ways it can be used to help our teachers, students, and help keep parents informed," Chipman said. "The system is being funded through grants from Perkins. We have 16 teachers in the junior and senior high school involved covering the core subjects such as science, English, math, history and most of the workforce subjects."

The teachers are being trained in the system and will have their own teacher's page. Parents and students can click on the pages to find out lesson plans for individual classes, a calendar of events, courses offered, homework assignments, work sheets and more.

Through the OnCourse system administrators can review lesson plans online and provide feedback to teachers quickly and easily, generate reports about what is being taught by grade level, teacher, subject, and/or standard, and use quantitative data to make more informed decisions. Teachers can create and update lesson plans in a fraction of the time required with the paper-based approach. Lessons can be mapped to educational standards and continuous access to plans will be maintained. Teachers will be able to communicate through a classroom website that is easy to create and maintain.

Parents and students will be able to enjoy online access to information.

"The program will give parents the opportunity to know what is being offered and what is being taught," Wagner said. "We are just getting started and we are learning but I think it will enhance communication as well as increase parental awareness and involvement."

The federal No Child Left Behind Act has created standards all schools must meet. OnCourse Systems will help with instruction and documentation. It will integrate state and federal standards, making it easy for teachers and administrators to track and analyze compliance with requirements.

Several teachers are presently online and as the training continues more will be added. Through the system, students will be able to check on homework assignments, deadlines for assignments, calendar of events and other information at home. Parents will be able to enjoy the access to important information.

Chipman encourages parents to log on to the school's website, mps.crsc.k12.ar.us. Click on to either junior high or senior high. They will then have a choice to choose one of the teacher's OnCourse pages for more information.

"We are just getting started with the system," Wagner said. "It is being used successfully in school districts in over 20 states. It will be beneficial to our school. I think parents will enjoy being able to print worksheets at home and being able to review classroom curriculum."

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