When Debbie Sumner Mahle, an Atlanta mother, wants to know what her sons, ages 6, 7 and 10, are working on in school, she turns on her computer and logs into NetClassroom. The portal lets her see not just their school assignments but also their attendance and grades.
More public and private school systems are wiring up data-management systems, and school work is just the tip of the iceberg. Parent-accessible websites and “learning community management systems”–or LCMSs, in the age of no jargon left behind–are increasingly handling schools’ scheduling, emergency contacts, immunizations, academic assessments and even meals, with some offering a daily nutritional breakdown of lunch.
Ms. Sumner Mahle receives email reminders to place her sons’ requests at orderlunches.com, which manages the meal program at their school, the Davis Academy. If she wants to work a shift as a cafeteria monitor, or bring cupcakes to a Halloween party, she signs up at volunteerspot.com.