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'Virtual Report Card' to Help NYC Parents Track Student Progress, Attendance

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New York City parents won't have to forage through their children's well-worn backpacks for report cards anymore. Instead, they'll just have to pick up their mobile phone or tablet.

A new digital account will allow all New York City public school parents to access critical information about their children, including state test scores, grades, and attendance records, from their computers and on their mobile devices.

According to a press release, the new, family-friendly NYC Schools accounts will be password-protected and will be available in 10 languages. Parents can sign up for the accounts June 8. The new accounts will allow parents to "see the same information that teachers and administrators see, increasing transparency in parent-teacher meetings."

NYC Schools accountSome of this information was previously available on ARIS, a similar tool, which according to the release was "heavily underused"—only 3 percent of parents logged into the system during the 2012-13 school year. ARIS was also more costly, with the Department of Education spending $95 million between 2007 and 2014 for the system. Conversely, the district states that the NYC Schools account was designed by the department for less than $2 million and will cost less than $4 million to develop and maintain over the next four years.

"This continues our effort to engage parents across all mediums by meeting them where they are," Carmen Fariña, the New York City Schools chancellor, said in the release. "By launching NYC Schools accounts, we are encouraging parents to become more involved in their children's education and hold themselves and their students accountable for progress."

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