Beginning the week of January 3, 2017, Metro Schools families will have more access to their child’s school and academic information than ever before through the new MNPS Family Portal. The Portal is connected directly to the district’s student data management system, Infinite Campus, and will allow families to view class and assignment grades, attendance information, messages from teachers, news updates from school and more on desktop computers and mobile devices.
“It’s a fact: when families are engaged in learning, children do better in school. The Family Portal will give families the opportunity to be more engaged by opening up greater oversight of and interaction with virtually all classroom activity,” said Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph. “Though this is happening a little later than we might have liked, we are still very pleased to give families unprecedented access to their children’s academic experience.”
The Family Portal replaces GradeSpeed, the online grade book available to families prior to the 2016-17 school year. Though the intent was for a seamless transition that would have opened the new Family Portal in August, Metro Schools’ staff needed more time to prepare for a fully supported launch. This includes massive amounts of student data cleanup for security purposes to ensure users have access only to their own child’s information.
The launch will begin with letters mailed home to every family in Metro Schools beginning Tuesday, January 3. Those letters will contain unique ID numbers for families to use in signing up for the Portal. Each parent will be assigned a different ID number, which will be mailed only to the custodial parents or guardians to ensure secure access to the child’s information.
To assist in sign-up and support, the district is training Family Portal Liaisons in each school to serve as the frontline points of contact for questions and help. In addition, staff from the Family Involvement team, the Family Information Center and the district’s 12 Enrollment Centers, among others, will be fully trained in helping families sign up for and use the Family Portal.
Once sign up is complete, using the Portal will be simple. Families can easily view student information and engage in two-way communication with teachers. The Portal can be accessed by visiting familyportal.mnps.org or by downloading the Infinite Campus Mobile Portal in the Apple App Store or in Google Play. Many features of the Family Portal are accessible on mobile devices with a responsive, intuitive interface.
“This is really about access to more information and greater equity in that access,” said Dr. Joseph. “We will always have engaged parents, but for many of our families, in-person, telephone or even email interaction can be difficult. By making it even easier for families to find out information about their child’s performance and needs, as well as reaching out directly to teachers, we can eliminate some of the barriers to engagement and drive more parents to be involved in learning.”
Families should expect letters to start arriving in the mail the week of January 3, 2017. Training resources will be available soon, and sign-up and support events will take place throughout the spring semester.