Parents as Partners Episode # 32 December 3, 2009

Cindy Seibel show host shares her masters work with Matt Montagne and Lorna Costantini. Cindy developed a parent portal implementation guide.

From the guide, Cindy explains:

There is a significant body of research demonstrating the contribution of parent engagement to student learning. Based on this research, school districts are implementing technology solutions to support and improve relationships with parents with the hope of producing improved student outcomes. This project created an Implementation Guide for one technology solution, a K-12 Parent Portal.

The question what is a parent portal surfaced and Cindy responded to the question with the following video.



The challenge to all of us is to review the guide and then take it to parents and school boards to embrace and implement.

Chat Log


 11:19:00  lesom -> -EdTechTalk: hi

 20:51:43  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: Hi Janice!

 20:52:29  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: Being volunteers, we arrive just in time. You won’t hear sound until start time.

 20:52:36  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: Hi Lorna.

 20:52:42  Lorna -> -EdTechTalk: calling you now

 20:53:59  janiceb -> -EdTechTalk: Hi Cindy

 20:57:22  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: We’re working on our setup and will be live in a few minutes

 20:57:31  janiceb -> -EdTechTalk: great

 21:04:37  Lorna -> -EdTechTalk: we are having technical difficulties

 21:05:25  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: hello sadams

 21:05:43  janiceb -> -EdTechTalk: that is Sharin Adams

 21:07:22  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: Hi everyone-so sorry I’m late!

 21:07:37  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: Hi Peggy – some tech difficulties so we’re just starting.

 21:07:37  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: hey Peggy!

 21:07:51  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: Peggy, how was the K12 Online LAN Party??

 21:07:58  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I can hear the garbly sound πŸ™‚

 21:08:10  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: Lorna is on her home phone

 21:08:16  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: the LAN party was excellent!!

 21:08:34  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: LOL

 21:08:40  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: Janice – are you hearing sound ok?

 21:08:44  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: good, glad to hear it Peggy

 21:08:45  janiceb -> -EdTechTalk: yes

 21:08:53  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: sound is a bit soft but coming through

 21:09:14  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: we understand about technical hitches πŸ™‚

 21:09:24  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I’m so thrilled to have the old chat room back!

 21:09:50  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I’ve been waiting for Cindy to share her parent portal project!! My wait is over!

 21:09:56  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: me too, Peggy…even tho I’m a mac user and it doesn’t work great on a mac

 21:10:11  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I’m a Mac user too and it’s working fine for me

 21:10:16  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: I think everyone is aware of my feelings on the old one

 21:10:22  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: using Firefox and floating dock

 21:11:39  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: I can’t login on firefox with this chat…so I’m using safari

 21:12:05  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: really? I’m surprised Matt. Do you need a java update?

 21:12:21  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: I think my Java is current

 21:12:28  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: could be a FF thing

 21:12:49  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I got a new java update today for OS10.5

 21:13:41  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: the big question!! what DO parents want?

 21:13:42  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: hey ericjp…welcome

 21:14:12  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: hello

 21:14:29  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: we’re talking with Cindy Seibel about her core masters project, which involved parent involvement and technology

 21:15:03  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: Cindy’s Parent Portal is a fantastic model and resource for all of us!!

 21:15:34  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk:

 21:15:46  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: hello psullivan…welcome

 21:15:51  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: there’s the link ^__^

 21:16:24  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I think it’s a really valuable guide! Doesn’t look onerous at all to me

 21:16:37  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: agreed, Peggy

 21:16:52  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: so true!!! tell stories!!

 21:17:15  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: they not only listen but they want to tell their own stories

 21:18:59  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: tell us how your focus groups worked

 21:19:11  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: very cool, Cindy!!!

 21:19:36  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: when you post content like this, you never know what kind of effect it mighte have

 21:20:05  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: that’s so true–we are all busy sharing this resource!!

 21:22:41  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk:  Building the portal

 21:22:52  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk:

 21:23:07  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: node 35 is Design

 21:23:47  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: how cute

 21:23:51  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: great representation of all of the "stakeholders"

 21:24:42  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: you’re really captured the kinds of things people think about why they can’t get involved…

 21:25:53  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: it’s much easier for parents of young kids to have those f2f moments with teachers

 21:26:33  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: did you find parents willing to participate in the online pieces?

 21:27:17  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: that’s really encouraging!!

 21:28:24  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: can this be done without providing "training" for parents to use the online tools?

 21:28:50  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: good question

 21:29:14  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: my favorite answer…it depends and it really does

 21:29:36  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: hey peggy, how is the stream quality??

 21:29:58  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: this is the technical support section

 21:30:04  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: stream quality is great for me

 21:30:30  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: cool

 21:30:47  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: that is great, Cindy

 21:31:00  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk:  parent training segment πŸ™‚

 21:31:40  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: how comprehensive

 21:31:43  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: do you have a "glossary" for parents to help them understand school language?

 21:32:07  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: YES

 21:33:01  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: net access is pitiful here

 21:33:11  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: legislation πŸ™‚ are you talking about school policies?

 21:33:24  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: where are you located eric??

 21:33:25  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: so sorry ericjp!!

 21:33:54  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: do schools need new/revised AUPs for a parent portal?

 21:33:54  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: rural Vermont

 21:33:59  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: ahh

 21:34:15  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: is it storming in Vermont?

 21:34:38  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: so broadband penetration in rural areas of vermont is limited??

 21:34:45  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: those sound like the same excuses teachers use πŸ™‚

 21:35:39  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: how do you get feedback on how the portal is working? do you plan future focus groups?

 21:36:24  ericjp -> -EdTechTalk: quite limited matt. the school, SU office, and public library share the only broadband line in town, and even though T1 was the hottness when it was installed we don’t have the bandwidth to use Skype in our classrooms. Other than that a few families can get satelite DSL.

 21:36:26  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: that’s a great point Cindy!

 21:38:16  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: the principal is such an important person in this process! how do you get their time to participate in the training?

 21:39:43  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I really like the additional resources you have provided here!

 21:41:23  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: that’s a really interesting challenge Cindy!! in AZ there are lots of school site councils where parents and teachers are supposed to be collaborating, but I’m not sure how much they are really doing! on paper "shared decisionmaking" is required

 21:42:38  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: that’s a great quote for truly seeing parents as partners!

 21:43:48  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: our school site council was made up of admin, parents, teachers and support staff and we shared all of the budget decisions. Very difficult for parents and teachers to make those tough decisions!

 21:44:24  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: we have to think of parents as more than the "bake sale" fundraisers

 21:45:02  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I was the principal and heard often "that’s what they pay you the big bucks for" πŸ™‚

 21:46:23  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: just using the parent portal guide for conversations would be so valuable!

 21:47:36  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: the technology makes it possible for parents to get the communication when it is needed/convenient for them

 21:48:14  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: the guide helps you to see things from various perspectives–love it!

 21:49:25  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: are you collecting data on how the portal is being used now?

 21:50:46  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: who is using it and HOW they’re using it πŸ™‚ that would be really interesting

 21:51:54  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I’m so glad you have finally shared this Cindy!!! It is a fantastic guide!

 21:53:13  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: congratulations Cindy! VP πŸ™‚

 21:54:17  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: good excuse Cindy πŸ™‚

 21:54:46  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: thanks Peggy πŸ˜€

 21:54:56  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: when you’re in Moodle it’s hard to change the name of things like "course"

 21:56:37  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: is this site connected in any way to the new Digital Parent site?

 21:57:35  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: yes it’s 1:30 MST on Thursday Dec. 10

 21:57:48  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: they have a whole site already developed

 21:58:37  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: in the UK they focus on the kids "Every Child Matters" πŸ™‚

 21:59:21  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: they do an awesome job!

 21:59:34  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: thank you so much Cindy!! This has been a great session!

 22:00:21  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I love the way you have taken the research and made it so practical and useful!!

 22:00:50  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: Happy Holidays to all of you!!

 22:00:57  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: good night everyone

 22:01:42  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: exciting Matt!! 2 full weeks off!!

 22:02:39  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: indeed, Peggy!

 22:02:45  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: that doesn’t happen in California, huh Matt?? πŸ™‚

 22:02:47  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: I might get to the grand canyon

 22:02:52  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: no, not at all!

 22:02:56  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: But, it is cold here!!!

 22:03:08  matt montagne -> -EdTechTalk: It dropped down to the 40s last night

 22:03:18  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: it’s cold in Phoenix too–and rainy! 54 degrees right now πŸ™‚

 22:03:47  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: but it’s snowing big time in northern AZ!

 22:04:15  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: a consortium of districts?

 22:04:51  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: nice title! what is social media and why should I care?

 22:05:13  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: yes broadcasting but not recording

 22:05:39  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I’m glad you’re still streaming πŸ™‚

 22:05:50  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: post show conversations are the bonus!

 22:06:19  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: so glad you were here Janice!

 22:07:50  cindyseibel -> -EdTechTalk: Peggy – cold today was -20C today. brrhh

 22:07:51  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: love that Matt! it depends…

 22:08:25  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: not synchronously Lorna–not very likely

 22:08:57  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I agree about nights being tough

 22:09:47  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: brrrr Cindy!!

 22:11:22  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: good point Matt–if you show them how wikis can help them organize parents for bringing in the refreshments for the class party they can see the potential

 22:11:53  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: I introduced wikis to our neighborhood association for writing the monthly newsletter and it has completely changed things for them

 22:13:33  PeggyG -> -EdTechTalk: thanks everyone! Happy Holidays!


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