Using the Parent Access Portal of Progress Book
In Orange County, all schools use a web-based electronic grade book called Progress Book. Built within Progress Book is a feature to allow parents to view their child’s grade and attendance data called Parent Access. While logged into Parent Access, you can view the same data the teachers enter as soon as they’ve saved it. This gives parents an easy to use, real-time way of monitoring their child’s academic progress throughout the school year. Students too can easily keep track of their current grades as both the student and parents are given a unique login and password. Parents can even signup to receive email notifications if their child receives a failing grade on an assignment or fails to turn in a required assignment.
There are other communication features teachers have the option to utilize. Teachers can quickly post a daily comment detailing a student’s performance or behavior. Teacher may also post due dates for homework or other assignments on a student monthly calendar. While all teachers are required to maintain their grade book data within Progress Book, some of these other communication tools are optional and may be used at the teacher’s discretion. We will note any optional features as such in the overview which follows.
There are a couple of differences between student accounts and parent accounts. If you are a parent with more than one student in Orange County you will be able to link the accounts for all your children under one login so you do not have to log out and log back in repeatedly to view data for multiple children. In addition, parents can reset the passwords for their respective child’s account. These two options are not available under the child's unique login. We will make a note on any instructions that follow which only apply to Parent accounts. Otherwise the data seen and options available are the same for both login types.
The tutorial below is divided into two parts: logging in for the first time and changing/maintaining your account settings, and how to navigate though Parent Access and find the information you need. In order to keep this page from becoming simply too massive to easily navigate, we have opted to use thumbnails photos rather than full sized screen shots. You may click on any of the images below to view them full sized. Or you may download the full PDF document which contains full sized images.
Logging into Parent Access for the First Time & Changing Account Settings
After you receive your login ID and password, open Parent Access at http://parentaccess.ocps.net. You will see a welcome screen asking you to select your district. Click on the red school house for Secondary Schools and you will see the login screen.
Enter the user name and password you received. Passwords are case-sensitive, so please type them exactly as they appear. When you are finished, click on the Login button to enter Parent Access.
When you login, you will see an Orange County District News page. We want to configure our account settings before doing anything else. Click on the "My Account" tab in the upper right navigation bar.
You will be taken to the "My Profile" page where you can enter your email address. Please be sure to enter your correct email address as this will insure you can recover your user name or password should they be lost or forgotten. After you enter your email address be sure to click on Save. Changing your first and last name here does not change your user name or password; only how your name is displayed within the site. To change your user name to something easier to remember, click on the "Change My Login" link on the top navigation bar.
In the "Change My Login" screen you can enter a new user name that is easier to remember. When you are finished be sure to click on Save or your changes will not be kept. Note: Login names must use alphanumeric characters only and be 5 to 20 characters long. Do not use spaces or symbols in your login name. After changing your user name click on "Change My Password".
In the "Change my Password" screen you can enter a new password that is easier to remember. When you are finished be sure to click on Save or your changes will not be kept. Note: Passwords must use alphanumeric characters only, be 5 to 20 characters long, and are case sensitive. Do not use spaces or symbols in your password. When you are done changing your password click on "Manage Alerts" if you wish to subscribe to alerts.
In the “Manage Alerts” screen, parents can subscribe to email alerts that notify you if your child has an assignment marked as “Missing” (meaning the teacher did not receive the completed assignment) or receives a score below a threshold that you set. Place a checkmark in the boxes for the types of alerts which you wish to subscribe. You may enter up to 4 email addresses to which you would like the alert emails sent. These addresses can be updated at any time. When you are finished click Save.
If you havechosen to receive alerts for Low Assignment Marks you will now have a “Change Settings” link appear on the screen, near the checkmark box for Low Assignment Marks. Click on the “Change Settings” link to enter the Low Assignment Marks threshold for which you wish to receive alerts. For example, you could set Parent Access to alert you anytime you child receives score below a C for their English class. Each class your child is enrolled in can have its own unique alert threshold. Remember to click on Save when you are finished changing your settings.
For parent accounts in Parent Access there are two links under the “My Account” tab which are unique to parents and not available to students. Click on the “Link My Accounts” link in the top navigation bar. In the “Link My Accounts” you will be able to combine the accounts of multiple children into one login, if you have more than one child enrolled in Orange County. This will allow you to view the data for all your children under one login, without the need of logging out and in repeatedly or remember multiple user
names and passwords. To link accounts together enter the Login Name and Password for the parent account of another child. Click on the “Link” button to link the accounts together. You will see a summary of all the accounts currently link under your login at the bottom of the page. When you have accounts linked together, you will see two or more children listed on some screens. For example, if you switch back to the “Manage Alerts” page you would see all linked children listed and you could subscribe and configure alerts for all your children on the same page. In a minute we’re going to start to view your child’s academic grade data. On these screens only one child’s data is displayed at a time. You must use the drop down menu directly below the red school house icon in the upper left corner of the screen to switch between linked accounts on these screens.
Also unique to parent accounts is the “Manage Accounts” link under the “My Account” tab. Here you can reset the account password for your child’s account or any other linked child's account. Click on the link labeled “Click Here to reset studentname’s password”, to reset their password.
We have now configured all the account setting available to you. I know most people simply want to jump in and look at their child’s academic data, but please, if you haven’t done so already, make sure you enter an email address in the “Edit My Profile” section of the My Account tab. Entering an email address is the quickest way to retrieve a user name or password should they be lost or forgotten. Now it's time to take a tour of Parent Access and learn what data is available to you and on which pages it is located.
How to Navigate Though Parent Access
In all the steps above, we have been working under the “My Account” tab on the top navigation bar. We will now systematically work our way though the other tabs to see what screens are available to you and what information is posted on each screen. Please start by clicking on the “Home” tab. The home page simply gives you a complete menu listing of all the pages which make up Parent Access. If you are not sure which tab a page you are looking for is listed under, you can always come back to the Home tab to view the site index. Let’s move on to the “Student Tab”.
Clicking on the Student tab brings up the “Averages” screen. Here you can see your child’s current overall grade as it stands in Progress Book. You can use the drop-down menu to switch between the various marking periods (Q1 stands for “quarter 1”, AKA the 1st nine weeks). If you click on a link for one of the course names you will pull up a detailed, itemized list of each of your child’s assignments within that class; this is the ”Progress Details” screen. You can also view same screen by clicking on the “Progress Details” link on the upper navigation bar. Click on one of these links now.
The “Progress Details” screen gives you the most pertinent data, including an individual assignment list and your child’s relative scores for each of those assignments. Here we can see the name of the assignment, the assignment date, and the individual score the student received on the assignment. Parents can use the two drop down menus to switch between classes and marking periods. Also included on the “Progress Details” screen are any period attendance occurrences other than present (usually absent or tardy) that the student has incurred. Parent Access only displays period attendance for high schools on the “Progress Details” screen. High school daily attendance is not displayed in Parent Access.
You may also see some comments displayed on the “Progress Details” page. Teachers have the option of posting daily or assignment-specific comments in Parent Access. Daily comments are displayed at the bottom of the “Progress Details” screen. Each teacher can choose to post a unique daily comment for each of their students, if the need arises. These daily comments could be praise for good work and effort, simple reminders that a project is due, or they may document repeated behavior incidents -- whatever a teacher feels they need to convey to parents or students. Likewise, assignment specific comments allow a teacher to detail specific information about that assignment. For instance, a teacher may require a score of 80% on a lab safety test before that student can participate in a lab experiment. Whatever the case may be, comments are a solely a teacher option; there is no requirement to post daily or assignment comments.
Let’s continue by clicking on the Report Card link on the navigational bar. Unfortunately, as of this writing, no report cards have yet gone home. For now, you will see a message stating “No information has been posted – Please check back later.” As soon as the first report cards go home, the “Report Card” screen will become a placeholder for all your child’s report card grades in grid format. A similar message will be displayed under “Attendance”. Click on the “Attendance” link now.
The” Attendance” screen in Parent Access only displays daily attendance data. High schools utilize period attendance. Please use the “Progress Details” screen to view period attendance occurrences for each of your child’s classes. You will also receive the “No information has been posted – Please check back later" message here.
When you click on the “Schedule” link in the top navigation bar you can see a full schedule of your child’s classes. Use the drop-down menus to switch between semesters. Also, you will notice that the teachers names here appear as hyperlinks; click on one to send an email to your child’s teacher. You have now finished viewing all the screens available under the “Student” tab. Click on the “Classroom” tab to see what pages are stored there.
After clicking on the “Classroom” tab the Homework screen is the first page displayed. Teachers have the option of adding any of their assignments they score in Progress Book as homework assignments in Parent Access. Teachers could also post other various due dates on the homework list even though they may not be directly associated with scored assignments (such as a story which needs to be read by a specific date for discussion or a quiz in a future class). Posting homework is not required and may be utilized at the discretion of the teacher. On the homework page you will see a list of any posted homework which falls within a date span you specify. Use the date selectors to broaden or narrow your date range and click on search to refine the list. You can easily also switch to a month by month calendar view by clicking on the “Monthly Planner” link on the navigation bar.
The “Monthly Planner” page shows all of the posted homework for the displayed month in a calendar grid. Parents and students can quickly see any posted assignments by the icons displayed on a given day. Clicking on any of the icons will bring up the full description of the homework. Use the arrows in the top corner of the calendar grid to switch between months. Again, posting homework is optional for teachers.
“Information” is the final link under the “Classroom” tab. The “Information” page is basically an individual webpage for each unique class a teacher instructs, where they could post any beneficial class-wide information. These could be class rules, course syllabi, announcements, or any other posting a teacher wishes to share with the class. Posting on the “Information” page is optional for teachers.
The final tab left on the navigation bar is the “School” tab. Clicking on it will bring you back to the district news page you saw when you first logged into Parent Access. If you were to scroll down to the link for Cypress Creek you would see a school-specific page were we could post news. At Cypress Creek, we post all of our information on our school website. So as to be less confusing, all we will post on this page is a link to our main website and a link to this Parent Access help page.