Keep Your Parents Informed
The progress report function of Lighthouse works much in the same manner as the report card function . It allows the office or teachers to enter interim progress report comments and publishes a consolidated mid-term progress report for each student.
Published in 1985, The Notifier was our very first progress report package. It changed the way schools processed mid-term progress reports.
Prior to 1985, most schools issued "progress reports" (a/k/a "flunk sheets") when a student was in danger of failing a course. Typically, progress reports were hand-written by the teacher on a three-part form and then sent to the guidance office. There the parts were separated, with one copy sent home and another copy placed in the student's file. Even with progress reports being issued for only a few students, the whole process was expensive and very labor-intensive.
With the advent of The Notifier it was possible for every child to receive a progress report - positive or negative - in every single class. Cost effective and easy-to-use, The Notifier also allowed the school administration to obtain an overview of the kinds of comments that were being issued by various teachers and also how many of a particular comment might be received by the same student. Through the next twelve editions of our progress report software, every single version from The Notifier to Surfside Lighthouse has supported electronic teacher entry of progress report data. Nothing could be easier!
There were two common scenarios where these "progress report summaries" became especially useful. The first was when the office ran a comment distribution by teacher. If a particular teacher had reported that most of her students were failing the course, the administration might want to step in and see if there was a problem. Another "teacher concern" might be if a certain instructor had reported class conduct problems with a large number of students. Again, having this data available might provide the administration with an early warning mechanism - they could learn of an issue long before forty or fifty sets of parents showed up at the school carrying torches...
Another scenario was in the arena of student counseling. A counselor could search for all students who had received the comment "In danger of failing this course" more than two times. If a child showed up on this list, it would be possible for the counselor to speak with all of the teachers involved, find out what they thought was happening with the youngster and then invite the parents to a meeting with everyone concerned about their child's success.
In short, the progress report function is an excellent early-intervention system for the administration. If more schools issued universal progress reports we think there would be far more "at risk" students caught early in their difficulties.
How does it work?
Well, it works like a report card generator. You tell the program for which marking periods you would like progress reports, you define a set of comments teachers can assign to students, you collect the comments from your teachers electronically and you print your progress reports. Then you start running reports and looking for those pesky situations before they become a full-fledged nuisance.
One suggestion for a more successful progress report experience. Involve your teachers in establishing the comments. You can define up to 999 comments. We suggest that you prepare a preliminary list of progress report comments and circulate it among the teachers. Many instructors will suggest comments that are more appropriate for their content areas (i.e. "Does not practice good shop safety"). If you give your teachers an opportunity to suggest some of the comments, then they will no doubt feel some "ownership" in the process. That's good for everyone!
Progress Report features:
- Each student's progress report "portfolio" may hold up to 99 courses per year
- Users may define a virtually unlimited number of marking periods
- Administrators may establish up to 999 user-defined comments for teachers to assign
- A teacher may assign any number of user-defined comments to each student's progress report in her course
- Each course entry for a student may have an anecdotal "free comment" of unlimited length
- Progress reports may be printed on multiple printers to save time when you are "in production" - you can one class on one printer, and another class on a second printer, and so forth
- Lighthouse generates comment distributions by teacher, course or department
- Lighthouse compiles comment statistics by frequency, entry key or comment name
- Users can search for comments that have been assigned to a student more than a critical number of times
- The application will search for un-processed sections - that means you can find out which teachers have not entered their progress report data... and then hunt them down...