Thursday, July 17, 2008

Goodbye eSembler, Hello Infinite Campus

New for 2008-2009...

MISD transitioned to a new student records program last year (Spring 2008) and we look forward to offering new features for parents and students in the upcoming school year.

The district will no longer offer eSembler for student grades and attendance. This information and much more will soon be offered through a new parent portal system through Infinite Campus. Parents and students will be able to go to one place and find student information on grades, attendance, schedules, fees, class assignments and other pertinent information.

[update July 24, 2008] The expectation is to have the Infinite Campus portal system provide Attendance and Lesson Plans (assignments) starting on Day 1. Then, as our teachers get used to the new system and start adding in grades, parents will have access near the end of Week 2.

We realize this is a major shift for teachers, parents, and students and will require heightened levels of patience as we move forward.

[update August 18, 2008] More information is now available: Welcome to Infinite Campus blog post as well as the dedicated Infinite Campus Parent Portal Information Page.

We will also send information via the district's e-newsletter, the MISD Messenger. Do you subscribe to this free e-newsletter?

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's good that the district is starting this new site but why would you completely get rid of esembler???? There was information that I needed and now I am unable to get. Plus the new site is not even ready. Again, why would you remove esembler and the new site is not available???

Anonymous said...

This will be a great tool for parents and students, provided MISD can find a way to make the teachers actually use it for posting assignments and grades in a timely manner.

Anonymous said...

Do we know for a fact that it will actually be up and running? There were several problems in transitioning to Infinite Campus during the spring. Half of the time teachers couldn't even log in to post attendance much less grades or lesson plans.

Communications Department said...

We appreciate and understand that our district community has or will have concerns about Infinite Campus.

The plan is for Infinite Campus to provide more information than was available through eSembler. We removed eSembler since we are no longer using it and because we are in the middle of summer.

Our expectation is to train every teacher in MISD on the various procedures for updating the Infinite Campus database and for those procedures to be followed beginning in the fall. We know that change can be difficult and/or frustrating. Our hope is that we can make this process as easy as possible.

More information will be provided to teachers and parents as we get closer to the school year.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if you could still look at the grades but I really liked esembler,please don't get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

i liked esimbler but i guess i have yo try a new thing this year

Anonymous said...

When do you plan to have it up and running?

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see other parents voicing their concerns and frustrations with the overall inadequacies of MISD teachers providing parents with up-to-date access to their kids' grades, assignments, projects, missed assignments, etc. Personally, I saw nothing wrong "usually" with the ESembler system. It's downfall was and will be the same downfall of Infinite Campus; and that is the "majority" of teachers who will refuse to properly learn how to use it, refuse to keep it up-to-date and thus be the stumbling blocks to those parents who truly care about their child's success and want to be "in the know" at all times.

We parents that work in corporate america have to learn new technology as it relates to our jobs, OR WE LOSE THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE. I would like to see MISD enforce such reasonble job performance expectations just once from its teachers with respect to these on-line parent communication tools!

Anonymous said...

Moving to Infinite Campus is a good thing. Now, teachers , parents and staff will all be on the "same page".
As with all new technology , there maybe a few glitches we will have to work out. We will learn it as a community and we will all benefit from it . This is progress and we should embrace it !
The way of the world has now become that we learn new technology . I am sure that the MISD will assist in educating the families of students and staff with regards to Infinite Campus.

Anonymous said...

I am happy for e-sembler to be gone. A lot of times grades would be entered as a 0 when the student was absent, then they would show up as ineligible when the coaches would pull grades. There were some definite flaws in the e-sembler system. I look forward to a new way to report grades.

Christina Westphal said...

I think that this new program is going to be great. If it actually does everything it says its going to do. I believe that this will help to keep the parents informed as long as the teachers are posting everything in a timely manner. I can't wait for the new school year and neither can the kids.

Kelsey Beene said...

Actually this is referring the first persons comment..It is actually better that esembler is gone, the information that was of value to you on there will still be on Infinite Campus and much more vital and with out the glitches in the esembler system. This one will actually tell you what fees you owe and your schedules so everything is still there but much better. So chill out and relax, im a Senior and i can tell esembler was bad with too many screw ups in the system, and i look forward to using Infinite Campus!

Anonymous said...

eSembler did not put zeros the gradebook when students were absent. That was not even an option. Teachers enter grades.

Preston W said...

dude wheres my grade

sjtviqueen said...

For change to be effective, there must be acceptance and buy-in from all other impacted; that includes parents, teachers, administrators. I look forward to utilizing this new tool. I challenge the administration to incorporate the utilization of this new communication tool into the performance review process for the teachers. This will ensure they ALL use it as it as intended. Furthermore, if used correctly, it could provide statistics to measure parental involvement in the district. So let's ALL get on board.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting to see so many negative comments from parents. I am a teacher who did keep grades posted in a timely manner, and lesson plans on time. I am quite sure there are many other teachers who did the same. To those in the business world who have to learn new things every day, I am very proud you do those things so well. I wonder if perhaps there was a teacher somewhere, that might deserve credit for helping you attain those skills. I want to applaud all those teachers out there who kept things posted and taught 80 to 100 students at the same without the leisure of being able to shut out interruptions because we are there for the students.

Anon said...

Preston, UR 2 funny!

I am just moving into this school sytem and am alarmed to see what I have seen too often before: Parents slamming teachers. You know, before we get too critical, perhaps we should give the teaching staff time to learn this system and begin employing it. My experience has revealed that once people get used to a new system and get enough practice with it to use it quickly and accurately, then they learn to love it.

Perhaps if we as parents volunteered to help out more, the teachers would have more free time to practice with this and get fluent. Seems if we have time to complain we have time to help too.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher in Grand Prairie and we too are moving to Infinite Campus. The change is scary, but welcomed. Now that I have children in public school I have realized the importance of keeping the grades current for the parents. I have made every effort not to have any surprises at the end of the six weeks. I know how difficult it is to stay current, but it is necessary.

Anonymous said...

I think its a dumb change and if you just instucted the teachers more about how to put grades in and when then you wouldnt have to make another grading process.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher with the district, a lot of new things were put on us this past school year, AP, PreAp at the intermediate level, AVID, and the HOPE Foundations. This on top of an already demanding job of TEACHING, tutoring, monitoring, meeting with admin. and parents, grading, inputting grades and lesson plans, in addition to being Human beings with a family and a life outside of school. Instead of griping about the teachers, be part of a solution, volunteer at the school, or better yet, work as a sub and walk a mile in our shoes.

Anonymous said...

As a student: Stop whining about the change. Esembler was horribly glitchy and often times incorrect. Let's see how the new program is before everyone starts bashing admin. Complaining blindly will get you nowhere in life. At least, that's what my parents have taught me. I'm embarrassed at some of the responses to this.

Anonymous said...

I have read all of the comments posted, and I can appreciate the comments from both sides of this very polar subject. I do donate time to the school system to help out. And I do have the same frustrations with some teachers that don't post grades/lesson plans. But as with every area in life....there are good teachers and there are not so good teachers. For the teachers that are teaching, mentoring and doing all of the things that are a part of your job description - we all applaud you and appreciate you. But the good teachers don't see what is going on in the other classes when parents are completely frustrated that they can't get the help they need to stay on top of their kids. You can email, call, visit, have meetings about, and still be ignored, and it can take less than one 6 week period for your child to fall through the cracks. So good or bad, I would say most parents and most teachers want and need to get on board with this new program, and we all need to do our parts to be better teachers and parents.

Anonymous said...

All of the comments are great....but the one question has not yet been answered. WHen will it be up and running? When are we able to set up our accounts?

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is the system is only as good and/or accurate as the person who inputs the information no matter what you use. There is such a great demand on everyone; students, parents and teachers. There will always be those who don't follow directions! Those make it harder for everyone concerned. There is no perfect solution. When and if you find one...bottle it up, sell it and live off the proceeds!

Denise N. said...

I just have one concern, I will not be able toaccess my children's grades from work when I have a spare moment. This site is listed as a blog site and my work blocks all access to any site that is listed as a blog. I'm sure that there are many other parents that spend more time at work than at home and when they have the opportunity to stop for a few minutes at work to check their child's grades that they will have the same problem. Is there a way that it can be viewed with being blocked?

Anonymous said...

I understand all the complaints, compliments, etc... But we should all be glad to have any electronic system to check out children's grades on a daily basis, whether update regularly or not. Remember the day of waiting on your child to bring home a progress report. Now think about that the next time you complain when you have the common convenience of e-mailing the teacher to request grades be posted.

Communications Department said...

Wow, we seem to have some attention with Infinite Campus. Thank you all for your comments. It is encouraging to read so many parents, teachers, and even a few students sounding off on this weeks before school starts.

Since the vast majority of the comments come in from 'Anonymous' it's difficult to address questions/concerns directly. However, a few things from the district might be beneficial for you all: You will be able to set up your accounts soon. We are preparing documentation and a dedicated Web page on the MISD site for Infinite Campus related files, FAQ, screen captures, contact information and other relevant IC information. Again, we are hoping patience will win over the alternative while we prepare to launch this new program.

Anonymous said...

ok don't really care about the transition seems ok to me I mean grades are grades no matter how they go in
REAL ISSUE: the district complains about funding but the switched to the ab block schedule which would make it harder to graduate since some people were waiting till their senior year to take Spanish 1 first semester and Spanish 2 second semester which would have been possible in the accelerated block and took the flexibility out of the options for students and overall overloaded the teachers and students with more work over a shorter period causing teachers to have to re-adjust there schedules which still didn't work after that if you aren't planning changing back to the accelerated block then at least make it possible to take TCC classes after school allowing students to get credits out of the way allowing for more academic freedom over time

Anonymous said...

When is someone going to hold the child accountable for knowing their assignments, grades, when homework is due, and when tests are? I'm so tired of parents complaining about teachers and enabling their children to be dismissed from accountability.

Smille33 said...

I agree that eSembler was only useful as long as the information was entered timely. There were far too many times I thought my student was on track and then a slew of grades dating back 2 weeks would be entered. By then it was far too late to address missed and/or failed assignments. So Infinite campus will only be useful if lesson plans are entered timely and are truly accurate, if assignments, due dates, projects are accurate and If test/quiz dates are noted. Entering this information must be required by teachers - not optional...this includes coaches (football season is no excuse for outdated info). I really rely on this info to keep my student ahead of the game.

Martin said...

Really guys, sometimes its good to try new things. If we were to stay with the same old thing over and over, how boring would that be? This would be a great transition for the parents who actually do check their kids' grades and bad for the kids' whose parents don't, because they will probably start. Let's just hope that this year will be better than the past years, disregarding how good/bad they were.

Anonymous said...

Gosh what did we do before computer technology?....oh yeah get involved with the school and talk to teachers! I am very grateful for having any system that will help me track my children's progress but most of all I am thankful for these teachers that have sacrificed for their jobs! They are grossly underpaid and have to deal with unappreciative parents and children! If you don't like the system or have issues with the schools, try homeschooling and see how well you keep up your records !

Rhonda Chandler said...

I agree that you should have waited to discontinue esembler until the new system was working. However I am glad a new system is on the way. Esmebler left a lot to be desired. I emailed teachers many times last year and I NEVER got a reply from anyone at Legacy and only one from Rogene Worley. Plus please let us know what & when assignments are due, so we can see that they get done before they are "missing grades". Teachers please use this tool so us parents can make it work. thanks

Anonymous said...

We never really had a problem with esembler. My children checked their grades regularly and their teachers, for the most part, kept their grades up to date. If this new system will be better than before, I can't wait to see how things work.

TFresh said...

Look a here lady -- do u know the freakin taxes we pay for our children to go to a school in Mansfield. Surely they dont get paid enough but dont get it twisted the teachers in Mansfield are getting paid way about average compared to a district like Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. So the least we could ask is an effective manner of communication. This is 2008 and we are known for excellence not just satisfaction if you want satisfactory take your kids to Dallas - lets see how you will be running back to Mansfield-- I pay to much money and as the schools say the kids we expect excellence so that's what they put and that's why we are excellent schools. MISD is in Star-Telegram every Sunday for positivity -- but I just ask for a dependent and effective manner communication for all the property taxes I pay for my kids to go there.

Anonymous said...

After being trained on Infinite Campus I am really worried! It is not user friendly!!! From the teacher side I am not looking forward to using this site. The ONLY thing I like is that the students information is in the computer at our fingertips so we can reach the parents quickly. IF all the information is correct and updated. As far as grades I think there will be lots of frustration from both sides when using this program.

Anonymous said...

Why change eSembler? most parents students and teachers are more familiar with it.Why not just upgrade it? Why put the the tress to teachers to learn somethnig new they already have enough to worry about as it is. I know I make a good point and I am only 11 I go to an Intemidiate school in Arlington.

Anonymous said...

Thank you MISD administration and teachers! You guys are awesome and I really appreciate everything you do! Infinite Campus or esembler..nothing is perfect. We should all appreciate the fact that these great people care about our kids and are willing to go the extra mile to help them succeed!

Corey Hegwood said...

I am grateful for a tool that would allow me to track my kid(s) academic progress electronically. However, it is true that the tool is only as good as its INPUT. The district did not enforce the teachers to put their lesson plans into eSembler using the eSembler format. They allowed teachers to UPLOAD word/excel documents into the tool. No two formats were the same and when you have 3 kids in the district and they all have 4 to 6 teachers each, it is a challenge.

What ever the tool of choice may be, enforce the teachers to use it properly.

Anonymous said...

The best way to keep up with your child's progress is to speak to the teacher one on one. My child has had outstanding teachers in MISD who genuinely like to see parents in their classrooms and campuses. If you can't see their lesson plans online or are having trouble with formats visit with the teacher. My child's teachers truly appreciate when I visit with them and learn what's happening in class. Let's remember that infinite campus and esembler are meant to be tools and not meant to replace the personal face to face communication that our children's teachers deserve. Let's support our kid's teachers rather than being so quick to criticize them.

Anonymous said...

Well now we can only see the schedule for the kids. No assignments, no grades, nothing else. Great. Less info is always a plus, sarcasm intended. Somehow the "to do" lists that were originally on the new site are now no longer available, not that they were correct. I also don't like the inability to view both of my kids profiles under my single login. We received two separate login setups and now have to logout completely to check the other child's activity, instead of just selecting their name from a list. I feel sorry for those that have more than 2 kids. Apparently the kids can't access the info at all unless they use the parent's access. Please tell me these things are being addressed.

Anonymous said...

When will the class links be in? I can click on a teacher if I want to send e-mail, but there is no link for the class itself. I'd like to be able to see assignments to keep my son on track. Right now all I'm getting is his schedule & missed assignments.

Anonymous said...

When will we be able to enter more than one parent's name and e-mail on a student's account...so both parents can be contacted? Why can we not access all children in a family with the same portal, username and password? Was each parent and each student supposed to receive a different GUID?

Anonymous said...

I think esembler is way better than this. It was working 99% of the time. This never works! We want esembler back asap!

Anonymous said...

Can someone just tell me how to get an account

Anonymous said...

Well, when is it finally going to be up? I would like to see grades online as soon as I can thank you. And so far you aren't doing a very good job at getting it running.

Bryan said...

I really dont like how all summer we waste money on stupid stuff.
eSembler was VERY easy and you could be computer stupid and figure out what to do. Im in school right now and MANY teachers complain and MANY problems come up. i lost a whole day of learning in computer applications because of eSembler

Anonymous said...

2 days in a row Infinite Campus has been inaccessable. This is becoming very annoying very quickly. Teachers no longer have the ablility to post lesson plans. They no longer are able to send mass email reminders to their parents and/or students. Students are no longer able to set up their own accounts to access their grades. How is Infinite Campus better than Esembler at meeting our needs? It seems that we have actually taken a step back rather than forward with this new gradebook system.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the effort teachers/admin has made to provide us with information needed to set up accounts. After contacting each school we promptly received the help we needed. However, I agree with "annonymous" Sept. 9. It's a pain to try to remember different logins/passwords for each child. Now, since the "upgrade" performed on Sept 23, the passwords I had saved on the computer are gone. I can only remember 1 password. After 3 login attempts, the account will be disabled until I contact the schools again. I wish there was a password recovery system, or else a way to make one account for all children in a family. I would also like to modify the contact informaiton so that both parents can be contacted by the schools.
I do appreciate the added information available, such as health records. Hopefully as the year progresses our concerns will be addressed.