New computer system helps track parish students

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2010

VIDALIA — The days of changing your bad report card grades or trying to skip school without your parents knowing are long gone.

The Concordia Parish School District implemented the use of the JPAMS system at the beginning of the school year, and so far teachers and administrators like what they see.

The JPAMS system is an electronic way for teachers to take roll, post grades, show disciplinary actions and even print report cards all from one program.

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Ferriday Lower Elementary School Principal Sheila Alwood said the program is extremely valuable to the school system.

“Once everyone gets on board, it is going to streamline a lot of tedious work,” she said. “It is going to make things easier.”

Vidalia Junior High School Principal Whest Shirley the program has still some kinks, but that will change once everyone knows exactly what they are doing.

“We are trying to get all the training in for this,” he said. “It will be worth it once we do.”

Alwood said the program allows her to have easy access to student data for just about anything.

“From an administrator’s standpoint, I can pull up any student at any time and see what their grades are,” she said. “The grades they show even tell you what the test covered.”

The JPAMS system also saves a lot of time Shirley said.

“I would normally have to pull out teacher’s grade books and assignments to check on a student,” he said. “Now I can check these things from right in front of me. It makes things a whole lot easier.”

Alwood said one feature the JPAMS system has added to her school is the addition of printing the students’ report cards.

“Before we had to bubble in sheets and turn them into the central office and wait two days before we would receive report cards,” she said. “Now I just push one button and they print out the report cards for each classroom.”

Low attendance among students is something Alwood said schools all over the nation are struggling with, and JPAMS is a step in the right direction for helping keep track.

“We are asked to check on attendance, so we track each student,” she said. “If we see they have too many days in a row missing, we contact the parents.”

Alwood said the program also lets the school know how long a student attended class before checking out for the day.

Shirley said the program will be the best thing for parents after the trial year has passed.

“It informs parents of trouble and potential problems,”

he said. “In the future parents will be able to log in and use the program themselves to look up their child’s grades.”