Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Source

So the Times had an editorial today asking that use of The Source be part of the contract negotiations. Yay.

The Source is a valuable tool for parents and students and we, the taxpayers, paid for it. It should be used more than twice a quarter by teachers (the current teacher contract mandate).

I've been told that some teachers just don't want to learn to use it or it's just one more thing in their busy day.

It seems if teachers use it they could (1) save themselves from multiple e-mails from parents and (2) protect themselves by being able to say you regularly posted homework and grades (and the office puts in attendance). Students, particularly in middle and high school, can't really argue much if the teacher does this in a regular fashion. But uneven usage or little usage allows a student to tell mom or dad that "Oh, she hasn't updated the scores. I turned that homework in on time." or "Oh, the overall grade is low because he hasn't put in my test score yet." or better yet, "There's no homework tonight."

I'm not trying to be a helicopter parent. But I'd rather know, sooner rather than later, how my student is doing. In high school, it is very hard to catch up once you fall behind in a class.

If you care about using the Source, ask your child's teacher (s) this year about their use of the Source and, if you can, ask it out loud at Open House night. If the teacher doesn't use it a lot, follow up and ask why not. You don't have to be hostile or confrontational; just express your concern about keeping up with your student. If they don't use it, ask if you can e-mail the teacher when you want to know how your student is doing. If a teacher gets a lot of e-mail from parents when updating the Source would take care of those, maybe more teachers would use it.

My preference is updating both homework and grades but if that's too much, I'd rather know the homework for that week.

35 comments:

Teachermom said...

Okay, I am going to expose myself as a luddite here.....but I am not clear how to access The Source (as a parent).

Now, as a teacher (specialist)who is a more recent hire, I have not been given clear instruction on how to use the Source (no training, just a piece of paper). When I tried to log on using the "regular directions", something went wrong because I am a specialist and don't have a set class. I told the support people, and nothing happened.

Then I have this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that there is something I should be doing that I am not doing, but don't know where to go from here. This is a common feeling I get when given an unclear, unplanned and unsupported mandate.

I am totally willing to use it if it makes sense for me to (I teach special ed resource to K-5. Everyone has different work, and often homework is assigned by the classroom teacher, not me.)

If it is a part of the contract, it should be made clear who it is appropriate for, which parts are required and for whom, and what training and support will be offered. And there should be modifications for those of us with atypical jobs if we are required to use it.

Syd said...

I want to say this at the start: I am addicted to the Source. I love checking in several times a week. I feel like it gives me a handle on what is happening in class, and helps me talk to my child about assignments he needs to do.

On the other hand, I am not sure the source does any good. Actually, I am pretty sure it does not. It does not appear to help my child keep up with homework. It also makes for very tense weekends while we wait for updates.

I would have hated my mother asking about my grades regularly through the quarter. It was my responsibility. The quarter is not that long. Why not wait for the grade? Or if you are worried, just ask the teacher periodically. I actually think it probably takes less time to talk to a few parents each week (and I doubt it would be that often) than to update the source for 5 classes of students.

Given how the teachers talk about it, it probably is not that user friendly. It would probably be simpler to ask the teachers to keep a facebook page with homework assignments.

Michael Rice said...

Hello

Well, as a HS teacher, the Source is very easy to use. I enter my assignments into Easy Grade Pro and that feeds into the Source. Since I have assignments or assessments everyday, I grade just about everyday, so the Source is updated. My students and their parents never have any question as to where they stand. What bothers me, is that we have many teachers who never grade anything or put it into EGP till they have to, which is the end of the quarter. The other teachers who do that, make all of the rest of us look bad. It really is not that difficult to enter grades into EGP and as the school Ed Tech, I am always telling other teachers that if you get stuck, don't throw up your hands and quit, contact me. I am sad to say, i don't get many calls for help.

taylor said...

The Source is also a great tool for students with disabilities! Since most of the schools don't teach things such as requisite learning skills, time management or organizational skills, especially in middle and high schools, students with disabilities don't always have this innate ability to do it on their own. It may be part and parcel of their disabilities.

During a developmental time when teens are moving towards independence, teen students with disabilities can actually feel more independence and self-confidence through consistent use of the Source by their teachers. This allows them to do it for themselves rather than have parent oversight of notebooks and planners or the over reliance on parent communications with teachers.

Some students actually have this requirement written in their special education and 504 plans, but schools inconsistently follow-through. The inconsistent Source follow-through by just one teacher, makes this disabled student's school and teachers out of compliance. It's that black and white!

speducator said...

I think that for core teachers, The Source makes a lot of sense. For special education teachers of severe and profound students who can't read, write or speak,(and I know I'm treading on sensitive ground here)I don't know how useful it would be to update homework assignments 2 or 3 times per week. How much homework can a P.E. teacher assign, or a shop teacher?

I think if there is to be a mandate, it needs to be very specific, thoughtful and productive.

For many teachers it would be a complete waste of time and parents' time, unless the data somehow informs the teacher's or student's success.

taylor said...
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taylor said...
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taylor said...

Speducator is right that students with higher needs special ed. services may not benefit from using the Source. However, not all students with disabilities receive special education services, but may have accommodations and modifications through a 504 plan.

It's a goal of all special education to provide a service to develop student independence, not a placement. Teenage students with disabilities who receive less intense special services would definitely benefit from teachers using the Source.

Rose M said...

If the source is updated regularly, it is very helpful for a student to see if they have a missing assignment. Several times a quarter my child will have graded work returned that has not been recorded. If it is from a teacher who updates the source then it can be rectified before final grades are posted. Knowing what work or exams are upcoming is helpful for time management. I do not check the source that often, but my child does. I think it is important communication.

MathTeacher42 said...

Like Mr. Rice, I use the source a lot.
Some observations -

This is my fifth year teaching, all in high school. In a prior career, I spent 6 years in high tech in redmond getting paid to keep computers running => I'm ALWAYS far ahead of my workmates in most computer skills.
(except twitter & facespace & mybook ... Like, whatever!)

This teaching job is INSANELY busy, and there is no way I'd have time to figure out all the tweaks of these hodgepodge programs (ESIS, Easy Grade Pro, The Source ... blah blah blah) if I were further down the learning curve of figuring out hodge podge programs. Most teachers are not where I am in terms of being able to figure out these very dissimilar, over featured, buggy programs.

Yet again we have a really good idea and a pretty good tool, added to the RIDICULOUS amount of demands -

RIDICULOUS demands because NONE are costed out in time to complete, and they certainly aren't prioritized - and the really good idea / pretty good tool is marginalized / falls by the way side.

For those of you who like to take my depictions of reality, and call those depictions negative, or some other northwest nicey nice nonsense, grow up. Unless we're real about the REAL ROOT of our problems, we're going to waste MORE decades with fake feel good non fixes.

Part of me would have no problem with updating the source at least once a week as part of our contract. HOWEVER, without some costing out of time demands for the major tasks of our job, mandating the source is just setting up a situation of acrimony and finger pointing, instead of problem solving... nothing new, perhaps?

Bob Murphy

Sahila said...

very sane comments, Bob... if the system wants teachers to use The Source (makes me laugh, the naming of the system - THE SOURCE - how biblical aka THE FOUNT OF ALL KNOWLEDGE, DIRECT LINE FROM GOD - LOL - sorry, couldnt resist!) to communicate with parents/students, then make it easy for them... Teachermom wont be the only person having difficulty... provide a simple programme, provide the training and support, provide the time required to use it... again, not rocket science...

Been reading Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline - know its oldish but came to it through his more recent book Presence...

Everything, absolutely everything that's going on in SPS organisation and management is text book systems/organisational havoc, chaos and dysfunction...

Its so scarey and dispiriting to read and then look at what's happening in the District - scarey because it impacts our kids directly and they only have one shot at their education, and dispiriting because IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY...

Senge has lots of solutions on how to fix all that... but am pretty sure SPS wont go looking for real answers and even if they did, would be too chicken to implement them...

taylor said...

MathTeacher 42, I sense your anger... the Source probably is not the root of your concerns. Other than 504 and special education being mandated, what are your thoughts on solutions to communications.

Do you think that its better for parents to contact you direct? How frequently?

emeraldkity said...

I realize that use of the Source is inconsistent in schools and across the district.
However- since the attendance offices in the schools seem to be mandated to use it & keep it updated ( and in my experience they do), I feel that classroom teachers also should not take the low road and plead that it is too tough to use, too much time etc.

If it isn't a cost effective product, I would expect that teachers to also petition the district to stop spending so much money on keeping the software and hardware updated in the schools and on training for things that will not be used.

I haven't seen that as yet.

I realize that hiring and training doesn't seem to be aligned. If training is in the summer, but some teachers are not hired until fall- well should they just be SOL?

I don't think that should be tolerated.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Syd makes a valid point. I have overused the Source and it has created tension in our household. So I have a deal with my child to not check more than once a week.

BullDogger said...

I like the source. Even good students need to be checked on occasionally. I find my child uses it to verify teachers have recorded homework and, about a half dozen times last year, errors in recording were corrected due to the parent/student feedback.

Math42 and Sahila... are you arguing against the source or the other poorly placed tasks in your domain? I would think the source, properly used, is a huge time saver for teachers versus individualized communication. If training is the key make it part of the CBA.

MathTeacher42 said...

taylor @ 4:39
because I update the source several times a week, and because I have many assignments a week, the source is the best place for parents of my students to see what is happening.

email is the next best method.

I think parents don't understand that when a teacher has 150 students it is not possible to stay in contact with 150 parents / guardians every week - I don't know what happens in grade school, but, 32 or 35 or 28 students is a lot less than 150.

Why is being blunt labeled 'anger'? ;) I think a lot of teachers do NOT participate because, who has time to defend themselves against being labeled 'angry'?

Commentors after me missed my points about requiring teachers to use the source.

The source works for me, despite the ridiculous demands which NO ONE can fullfill, in part because I spent years in the computer business.

The Source for many teachers is probably just ANOTHER unfunded ridiculous demand - even if it is a good idea.

ummm... I feel like I'm just going to repeat what I said up above, so, I'm stopping.

B. Murphy

dj said...

I had never heard of The Source until a few weeks ago on this blog. I don't know if my daughter's teachers have used it or not, but I've been satisfied with the level of communication I've had from them and really don't have any personal desire to check on her homework assignments. If there is an ongoing problem, I'd expect to be notified about it.

So perhaps that puts me in the minority, but I have no desire to lobby for more Source usage because I don't expect as a parent that I'd use it often. And while my daughter is an elementary student, I'm really hoping by high school that I don't need to check in on my kids' schooling. And I agree with Syd that I would have felt stifled as a high school student had my parents been checking in on me (and that sort of independence was I think a good thing to have developed).

I'm not knocking parents who want more information than I do, but because it's not something I'm personally that interested in, I'm not convinced that making teachers use The Source is imperative.

Josh Hayes said...

I'm concerned that schools which do not use traditional "grades" will find it difficult to use this service effectively.

As many of you know, for instance, AS1 does not issue A/B/C/D grades, but rather, a lengthy student evaluation which covers lots of different areas and styles of learning. It's an enormous task for teachers to crank out that information a couple of times a year; it's impossible for them to do it on the fly.

I worry that this requirement - that teachers have to use this tool - is arbitrary and a drag on already stretched resources. Sure, they should use it if it's helpful, if parents want it, and so on, but the case has not been made that it's a universally useful tool.

I do agree with Sahila that if the district wants teachers to use it, they had darn well better provide training on the software and ensure that there's time set aside during the day to twiddle with it, rather than just saying, "find the time".

WV: it's this kind of thing that leaves me bumin, d00ds.

Melissa Westbrook said...

DJ, I knew you had to be a parent of a younger student. I, too, had hoped I wouldn't need to check up on my student because (a) at high school and even middle school, he/she needs to be responsible for homework and (2) if anything were going wrong:

"If there is an ongoing problem, I'd expect to be notified about it."

Don't get me wrong; my high schooler is a bright guy who is pretty responsible. Doesn't sneak out the house, run around late or cause trouble. However, he IS a teenager. A lot of them, especially boys (and ask any high school counselor about this), have motivation problems. So it helps me to be able to give him a nudge about his work but only if I know what the work is and/or that his grades are in danger.

As to your point of being notified. Good luck. If teachers are too busy to use the Source, they are generally too busy to notify parents about falling grades. You get to find this out when you get a quarterly report. By then, your child may have fallen way behind. I've had a couple of times where I thought a teacher would have come to me with an issue and it did not happen. I wish it would have.

This is something else you might check on Open House night by asking teachers, "Do you let parents know if a student's grades are slipping and/or failing?" I think most of them would say no and say you get a quarterly report.

MathTeacher42 said...

Melissa at 9:02

Someday I might put the following draft / raw data together for school board presentations.
It is DRAFT data.

1. I have between 10 and 35 students ABSENT PER DAY.

2. I have 10 to 40 missing assignments PER DAY.

3. I have a few students each day who ... are having a bad day...

4. I have a lot who will work as long as I keep on them to work - well over 100 EVERY DAY.

5. On the worst of the worst days I have
150
- 30 (something absent)
- 30 (something missing assignments)
= 90 who showed up
AND have an assignment

and it CAN =
90 ++ who showed up,
AND have an assignment,
AND who will work if I keep after them to work.

It takes me 110% to minimize #1 and #2, and to maximize #4.

Oh yeah ... and, by the way, let's make every math moment compelling, interesting, life changing, fascinating, to standard ... ;)

I find The Source to be very helpful for managing this nightmare of missing assignments / late assignments / make ups assignments - but, how many of the other things I should do don't get done because there is more to do than anyone can do?

b.m.

dj said...

Melissa, I didn't say that I expected to be notified if my child's grades were slipping. I said I expected to be notified if there were an ongoing problem. Not the same thing, and actually I have been so far very pleased with the level of communication I've had from my daughter's teacher, none of which has been via The Source. Which is why while I think The Source is great if teachers think it will be useful for their classes (and some seem to think it is, and by all means should use it), I need much more than that to be convinced that it should be part of teacher contract negotiations.

And respectfully, your parenting philosophy and mine may well part ways. Neither my parents nor my husband's parents -- ever, and I mean ever -- checked in on our homework assignments or grades, and I will not be doing so unless forced (as I am now, because many of my daughter's homework assignments require that a parent, for example, read words aloud to her). If my high school student gets behind and that affects his/her quarterly grade, that is an unfortunate lesson about personal responsibility that he/she will have to learn (as I did).

Melissa Westbrook said...

And see DJ, that's interesting about the forced reading aloud. It used to be that most kids in elementary got very little homework. Now they do and now teachers give homework that students that age either can't do themselves or are directed to do with a parent. So teachers are directly trying to involve students in the homework.

It's not a lot to do with parenting philosophy - we have different aged children. You might be surprised in a few years.

MathTeacher, I get it. You have a lot on your plate. But then, tell me, what am I supposed to do as a parent? Just let it go until the quarter grades to find out that either my student didn't turn in an assignment, it was lost (by the teacher and this happened more than once) or my student thought he had one grade and a different grade got recorded.

I am absolutely for letting kids take personal responsibility for their grades. But I will also say that we are talking high school and the next step, college. I'm not willing to gamble on it if I have some like The Source which my school district has.

Sahila said...

dj - I did the same with my now grown up kids...

provided the resources for them to do good quality work - library access, reference books etc at home...

but keeping track, doing the homework, turning it in and dealing with whatever the grade coming back was, was entirely their own business/responsibility - I was totally hands-off...

two have university degrees and one of those two has a post grad diploma, the third is an IT specialist in the military...

one was a diligent student, one did a teenage freakout and schoolwork was not the focus for a couple of years (interestingly, that's the one with the postgrad diploma) and the third didnt work in any classes except his IT ones - he was a hacker from the age of about nine - and had appalling end of high school results - he figured out that he would be paid to train in the field that was his passion by joining the military - not my highest hope for him but its his journey and he's successful - being promoted, has bought himself a new BMW and will be putting a down payment on a house in the next year - he's 22...

I now dont believe in homework, but if there's no way around it, it will be this child's responsibility to keep track, do it and be accountable for his results also... this is his journey, not mine and there are valuable life lessons regarding choices/consequences that only experience can teach him...

And as my older children have demonstrated - there are multiple pathways to happiness, fulfilment and success, and the sky doesnt fall down if you're not on track with homework/school results...

emeraldkity said...

my high school student gets behind and that affects his/her quarterly grade, that is an unfortunate lesson about personal responsibility that he/she will have to learn (as I did).

Teachers have 150 or so students in high school- some also are advisors for clubs, coach sports team &/or tutor after and before school. They may have more than one assignment due a week or even a day per class, lots to keep track of.

Teachers also have multiple trainings,meetings & some even have kids of their own!
(substitutes are also used liberally- my daughter in 3rd yr Spanish had substitutes so often she didn't feel ready to take AP Spanish)

They are pretty busy so it is not unusual that a few mistakes are made here and there. Assignments are lost or mixed up, attendance is missed or marked under another student and that isn't caught until the report card comes out?

The Source is a place where teachers update assignments allowing them to post PDF.s instead of wasting time and paper making 500 photocopies.

It allows the counselor to see how they are doing and see where they are having trouble.

If you knowing for sure what assignments your child has, which ones they are currently working on and which ones are planned is too much information, then feel free not to register for the site.
However while at one point I thought my daughter was going to be in charge of the entire college admission process herself ( lol), I find regularly updated information ( from the school) to be valuable and if the students have learning concerns like my kids, then it is essential.

Maria Ramirez said...

Hi all, Is there any talk of requiring teachers to make calls to the home? I always thought one call at the beginning of the year from at least one of my son's teachers was a a good thing. I was amazed to learn that teachers are not required to call parents/guardians.

m.

Josh Hayes said...

maria writes:

"I always thought one call at the beginning of the year from at least one of my son's teachers was a a good thing. I was amazed to learn that teachers are not required to call parents/guardians."

Wow. really? What would they be able to tell you at "the beginning of the year"?

When I went through K-12 schools, none of my teachers EVER called my parents. Not once.

What do you expect the teacher(s) to say? What should they say that your child shouldn't already be able to say?

There's nothing wrong with open lines of communication between teacher and parent, but what you say strikes me, frankly, as an expectation that teachers will take up some parenting duties.

As I look over this post, I worry that it'll seem inflammatory. But I don't get it: it's as if you think teachers are baby-sitters, who should call you regularly to keep you informed. No: it's a two-way street. The teachers who stay in touch with me are the teachers with whom I'm in touch in the first place. Don't be a consumer: be a participant.

Sahila said...

I agree with Josh... not once in my education did a teacher ring home, nor in my first family's education - primary, secondary and university - did a teacher ring home unless there was something really serious going on.

And I dont expect my son's teacher to make that call either... I expect to stay in touch by visiting my son's classroom - I expect an open door policy in his school and class - by being part of the school communication mechanism, by being involved in school governance and by turning up at events...

I expect school to have a beginning of the year get-together, where parents can begin dialogue with their child's teacher and where the teacher gets the outline of the picture of where that child is coming from, in the family/background info sense...

Can you imagine the burden a teacher would have to manage being required to ring all his/her students' families to make an introductory courtesy call, or a mid-year progress report? We dont pay them enough for that...

However, what I would like is parent-teacher interviews to happen twice a year - say once at the end of the first quarter and once at the end of the third quarter of the school year... that dialogue would give a really good picture of what's going on in class...

And I would rather those interviews be scheduled over several evenings, rather than the current practice of closing the school down early for a week or so so that the interviews can take place in the afternoons... why take the entire school population out of its routine and increase the logistical issues around child care etc, parents having to take time from work when it would be more logical for the smaller number of people involved (teachers) working (AND BEING PAID OVERTIME)a couple of evenings extra to get through this exercise?

Melissa Westbrook said...

There are generally no parent-teacher conferences in middle or high school and frankly, if you think the teachers don't like the Source, try asking for that. Not going to happen.

And just in case you don't know, if you ask to speak with one of your child's teachers at middle or high school level, be aware that you will not just be meeting with teacher. Whether it's a conflict or just asking about homework in general, you will be met with the teacher AND a counselor and/or an administrator. (And you don't get told this is what will happen so I'm telling you so you won't be surprised should you want to speak with the teacher in person.)

Several years back my husband and I requested a meeting to talk to our son's teachers (2 who were team-teaching) because there was confusion over the homework. We got met by the teachers, a counselor AND an administrator and in the middle of the meeting they decided (against our wishes) to haul in my son. (I felt it a little unfair to have not told him in advance about leaving class and having to come into a room with 5 adults staring him down.) It was a very strange and uncomfortable experience.

We had another teacher who refused to set up a time to meet (and was never in his classroom when called even during his "office" hour) and insisted that I phone him at home in the evening. Again, not a comfortable experience. This was a head of a department.

I tell you this just so you know it is no simple thing to ask basic questions about homework, projects, etc. Overall, most teachers can be helpful and prompt via phone or e-mail but beware if you have a question that requires a meeting.

I, like most of you, never had my parents talking to teachers when I went to K-12 except on parent-teacher nights. But I think today's education is slightly more complex and you can certainly observe it from a distance but you might change your mind when you get in the upper grades. (And EmeraldKity, I'm trying to get my son through the college application process - my sympathies for sure to you for your experience.)

Deidre F. said...

I would agree that a call home is not a realistic expectation, unless the situation is dire, and even then it should not be expected - and I have a son that is highly capable but not highly motivated in school.

What I expect from a school is the opportunity to meet the teachers and be able to communicate with them on an as needed basis.

What I really enjoy at middle school is the night where parents are invited to go to school and follow their students schedule. Each teacher gives parents a mini presentation, goes over the class syllabus, homework expectations, gives their preferred route of communication (email, phone, etc). I find this enormously helpful.

After that I feel like it's up to parents and students to initiate communication.

If work is not turned in I do not expect a call from the teacher. My son knows the consequences of not turning in his work (both at home and at school). If he chooses to not turn in a paper/homework, he choose the consequence (a bad grade, loss of a privilege). I believe that that is how kids learn. I believe they have to make some small mistakes, and stumble sometimes....

I check the source regularly too. But unless the situation is dire I stay out of the day to day assignments/work. I expect that by report card time grades are A's and B's, otherwise there is a consequence at home. Sure a bad grade will lower his GPA, and I am scared to death of this now that he is entering high school, but in the end, the quality and timeliness of his work is his responsibility, not mine, and not his teachers.

The one exception that I make is the robo call from the office if my child is absent, not as a truancy precaution, but as a safety precaution. That's the one call that I do expect.

Deidre F. said...

Hi Melissa,
Thanks for the insight into SPS middle and high school teacher meetings. I had a very different experience in Kellogg, the Shoreline middle school that my son attended. I met with several teachers over the course of his middle school years. They were always very willing to accommodate me. And there were no counselors or administrators in on the meeting, just the teacher, my son, and I, talking things out. And Kellogg had a 2 day call back deadline, meaning that a teacher had to return a parents call within two days... and they always did.

Sahila said...

If I remember rightly, my first kids' schools in New Zealand and Australia - primary and secondary, public and private - all scheduled parent-teacher interview nights, some schools with the child present for the discussion, some without... in smaller, primary schools you had perhaps 30 minutes allotted - which in some cases was too long and in others not long enough! LOL - in high school I think they were 15 minute slots...

This was carried out over several evenings in high schools from 7.00pm until around 9.30pm I think... In primary schools they started around 4pm (school finished at 3.00pm)...

In high school it was also a fairly social community event, with displays from various classes, tea, coffee and snacks provided by the PTA, the principal walking around chatting with parents, kids hanging out with their friends - really laid back...

The child's school day/learning programme was not interrupted, there usually were no child care issues - primary schools usually provided onsite care, especially useful if a family had smaller children - and parents didnt have to take multiple blocks of time off to get to the different teachers (and schools)...

Very civilised, partnership and community-oriented and child-centred...

Deidre F. said...

Kellogg initiated "homework lunch" last year which was wildly successful. If a student had a missing assignment they were put on the "homework lunch" list and instead of having lunch with the rest of their classmates, they went to study hall, and ate lunch while they worked on their missing/late assignment. My son HATED "homework lunch", and after two or three visits, surprise, his assignments began to be turned in on time!! And there was no stress at home, it was all handled in school!! I loved it.

agibean1958 said...

Melissa, I too had a different experience when my older daughter was in middle and high school, and I didn't need to go to SHoreline to get it.

Because I work, most of my interactions with my daughter's teachers were by email or phone, and I never once had one turn me down or igmore me, even when the topic was an issue I had with the teacher (think missing reported grades for assignments already graded and returned home).

Any in-person meeting I had was always with the teacher only, and I must say, those "follow your student's curriculum nights" were huge fonts of information, both about the classes in general, and how my student was doing in class.

For what it's worth, these were south-end schools, if it matters to anyone.

Syd said...

My eldest is starting high school this year, so I am not sure how conferences work there. However, I was able to meet with teachers as needed during his middle school years. I was also able to get answers by email about topics such as lost homework assignments, grading practices, and homework help. This was at Washington Middle School.

Carla Rogers, Legislation Chair - Alki ES said...

Can someone tell me why, if this is a tool that is being paid for by our tax dollars, the Source is not a REQUIRED tool to be used by all teachers? I don't get it. Why would administration allow this to be optional?