By Carly Guise
For many students in school districts across York county, early August often means gearing up for the upcoming school year by viewing their schedule before the first day.
For Red Lion students, this has not rung true up until the 2017-2018 school year.
This year, administration has made the switch from MMS, which tied together multiple systems for the various needs of the school district, to Skyward, which combines all of these needs into one.
“Before there was a lot of miscommunication,” said assistant principal Mr. Bill Rickard. “Companies don’t always talk nicely together when it comes to digital communication, and there were multiple companies involved - Edline was one, the gradebook was another, and MMS was a third.”
Skyward is available to students and parents through multiple channels. There are portals under both the parent and student tabs on the district’s website, and, similar to Edline, an app is also available on both the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Shortly before school started, families received an email about Skyward that included a username and password that allow access to the system.
Students can access Skyward by their usernames, which are the same as the school email (last name, first initial, middle initial, and graduation year).
Families and students can also program their accounts to send out important notifications in different ways.
“The nice thing about Skyward is that you get to decide what you want to be notified on and which method you want to be notified on,” Mr. Rickard said. “If you only want text messages, for example, you can set it up so that you have only text messages coming to you. Or you can do just emails, or you can sign up for all three. You as a student and your parents can set it up differently, you don’t all have to be on the same page.”
As with any major change, there will be an adjustment period.
“It’s a learning process for all of us,” said Mr. Rickard. “For us, creating schedules, disciplinary referrals - it’s all brand-new to everybody. We’re all trying to learn it at the same time.”