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Seminole schools in the 21st century

Ahfachkee School and Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School are full-speed ahead into the digital present.

This school year marks the return of both schools’ ability through the Native American Student Information System (NASIS) to communicate student information with parents and guardians. The program, called a parent portal, is used by nearly 200 Bureau of Indian Education schools to share vital information that can bolster student achievement.

“The system allows us to save a great deal of information including high school transcripts, grades, print report cards, enter attendance data . . . ,” said Valerie Whiteside, Ahfachkee’s teacher coordinator.

Operated by Infinite Campus in Minnesota – the largest American-owned student information system – provides teachers with multiple backup abilities to store and protect important student information in case of catastrophe such as fire, flood or hurricane.

“Even if the building itself were destroyed, essential student data would be preserved with NASIS,” Whiteside said.

Under normal circumstances, parents and students can track daily grades, homework assignments and even bus schedules. Students can access their own records, but not those of siblings or other relations.

Students in grades six and up can sign up on their own. The most popular student features include updates on grades and attendance. Students in lower grades must have parent permission to access NASIS.

Parent and student access began in 2009 but only through the Internet. Now, via the Infinite Campus Mobile Portal app for the Android and iPhone, parents get immediate access to attendance, grades, teacher contact information, student reports and missing assignments.

“The option has slowly been developing popularity among our families,” Whiteside said. “Students, of course, have been using it since the beginning.”

Parents find the report option most convenient. Instead of waiting for a progress report or a report card to arrive in the mail, the reports are made available “live” when entered on NASIS. Parents can view the report seconds after activation and can download a PDF document to print.

Another bonus exists for parents who live in different households. Either can keep track of information at day or night from all locations.

“Of course, we still maintain and distribute paper records as we have for years,” Whiteside said. “However, the NASIS Portal gives parents another option for accessing those records and in a much more timely manner than we’ve ever been able to provide in the past.”