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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Infinite Campus Questions Answered

Thank you to all of the people who continue to provide comments here on the district blog. We have seen some very interesting negative and positive responses so far.

Today I want to address some commonly-themed questions/concerns/issues with Infinite Campus.

The following questions and answers come from the collected comments, e-mails, phone calls, and other correspondence we've received:

  • How do I get an account?
    Where do I get an activation key?
    How do I change my password?
    What do I do if I lost my password?

    These are all bunched together because they have the same answer: contact your student's home campus. Most of these types of issues can be resolved by speaking with the school receptionists.

  • Why can't we see lesson plans in Infinite Campus?
    We were aware when we purchased Infinite Campus that it did not have the "lesson plan" feature. Some campuses are using the newsletter function for teachers to post their lesson plans, but so far this is a campus choice. The Instructional Technology team provided and will continue to provide training on using the newsletter feature for those campuses interested in providing lesson plans. Please note: Parents can see upcoming assignments by clicking on their Infinite Campus calendar. (See parent portal screenshots page #3)

  • Will teachers ever be able to send mass email reminders to parents and/or students?
    We didn't have that feature activated, but it is now activated. Teachers will be trained on how to use the Messenger feature soon.

  • Why are students no longer able to set up their own accounts to access their grades?
    Again, this is a feature that hasn't been activated yet. After we get parents logged in and settled into the system then the student portal will follow.

  • How is Infinite Campus better than eSembler at meeting our needs?
    It give teachers and parents much more student information than eSembler. It's one large information system with multiple modules to help many departments.

  • It seems that MISD has taken a step back rather than forward with this new system.
    Actually we've taken a great step forward. People need to remember that this isn't just a gradebook that we're implementing. Some people think that because that's the only part they see, when actually the gradebook is only a tiny piece of the big system. Please also remember that this is our implementation year. It took a couple of years to get everything activated and working correctly in eSembler.
(Photo credit: jbelluch)


Anonymous said...

Although you might wish to call this a step forward based on your hopes for what Infinite Campus will bring - a portal for all student/parent information integrated into one package (hence the program's name) - the fact is, this is an inferior software program at BEST.

Teachers will tell you that it handles attendance adequately. They will also tell you setting up categories and assignments in the gradebook is a colossal NIGHTMARE. Navigating through the myriad of "sections" for a given class is time-consuming and confusing. Reports for students and/or parents are overly limited and often useless.

Parents will tell you that all they can access currently are attendance and grade information. The attendance information is adequate, but the grade information is woeful. How hard is it to offer a comprehensive report similar to a report card?

What is perhaps most disturbing is the suggestion that the adoption of Infinite Campus was a UNILATERAL decision, without input from teachers, campus administrators, or parents, and over the objections of some of the top officials in MISD Administration.

Anonymous said...

"It took a couple of years to get everything activated and working correctly in eSembler."

This is untrue.

eSembler's major glitches were gone within the first 2 months. From then on there were simply tweaks to the system.

2 months into the nightmare that is Infinite Campus, NO ONE has seen improvements made. NO ONE.

If you disagree with that statement, please tell us ONE thing that has been corrected in the software. Don't tell us what we've gotten used to, tell us ONE shortcoming that has been CORRECTED.

Anonymous said...

The Infinite Campus is a nightmare. I have to complete a lot clicks to see my students grades for all of her classes. My career involves selling "workflow" improvement software. So, believe me when I say this is not an improvement over the previous eSembler.

Anonymous said...

I consistently get e-mails stating that there is a test on such date, homework for a certain chapter is due on X date, or homework is missing. None of these e-mails state for which subject, teacher's name, or which child this applies to. I have 2 kids in 2 different schools and, of course, I get the blank look when I ask them if its theirs.

Anonymous said...

The letter states that I should see "all the students in their family", but both of my MISD students are not listed. Both are listed on the family part, but only one's grades are showing.

Anonymous said...

As both a parent and a teacher, it is frustrating. Every three weeks we do grade reports and there are at least 4 emails about new procedures for infinite campus. And was a nightmare, and still is to some who had issues. I would hope that someone would take into account how much more work this is adding to our day, and try to relieve SOME of our workload. But as it is it seems like upper administration does not care about it.

Anonymous said...

Are we going to have to deal with the frustration of Infinite Campus all year long? I am so frustrated. Who told you guys this was a better system? What was so wrong with eSembler or better yet what have we as parents, done to deserve this? Before you make another mess, try testing it out with some of the parents first and get our opinions. Admit it, you don't have all the answers, you messed up. It is our tax dollars that is paying for this. I think our teachers have more important things to do, than to deal with this. It has to be as frustrating for them. When are you going to fix this?

Anonymous said...

How do you sign up for Infinite Campus?
I have been looking and locking and i cant find where to sign up.?

Anonymous said...

Not having current information or accurate information makes any program useless.

We constantly have instances where we are not sure what is due or if something has been turned in or not because of teachers not putting information in the system.

Fix the processes and enforce rules and then maybe this system might be more useful.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, something has broken. The system is no longer sending out messages for missing or failing assignments and that was about the only feature that has been of any use. Of course it depends on timely teacher input which has been a problem forever.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know how to correct incorrect personal information on infinate campus? There is quite a bit of it that is very irritating and needs to be fixed on my profile.