Bob Campus's Blog

Parents: Find out what your kids learned in school today in the new MBC Parent Portal

We first introduced the Parent Portal at the MBC Summer Academy last July, in San Diego, CA, to an enthusiastic group of MBC "Power Users." Since then, our developers have been hard at work building and testing the portal. I've talked about some of the details in previous blog posts: Creating parent accounts, and Informing Parents. Today, I'd like to talk about what parents will be able to see and do in the Parent Portal.

How do I manage parent accounts?

Once you've imported the parent accounts from your SIS, you can manage them from the Parents tab on the Administration page. Note that you cannot edit the actual parent account here -- you can only view the child accounts associated with each parent, or delete (remove) the parent account from My Big Campus. All updates to parent accounts, including changing the custodial parent, adding or removing students, or changing a parent's email address, must be done via SIS import.

We feel so strongly about what the Parent Portal can do for schools that we've made it available to everyone, including "Freemium" (standalone) schools that are not yet Lightspeed customers. Our Technical Support department is available to answer questions and help you deploy this fantastic new feature.

How do parents log in?

First, schools must create the parent accounts. For security reasons, the only way to do this is by creating and importing a a parents.csv file containing parent and student information. District administrators can find instructions here: this sample information letter to get parent approval and let them know what to expect.

When you've created the parent accounts, instruct parents to navigate to, and sign in with the Email address and password you imported from your Student Information System (SIS). We've also added a Parent Login link to the My Big Campus login page.

Important: Parents will not be able to log into the Parent Portal until you import parent accounts into My Big Campus.

What do parents see?

Parents can see all of the following--and parents with multiple students in the district can filter the view by student.

  • Activity: Review announcements from their students' groups (classes, clubs, teams) and school, and new schoolwork assignments.
  • Messages: Send/receive messages between parent, their student, and school staff.
  • Schoolwork: View assignment descriptions and completed submissions, exchange comments with teachers, access reports.
  • Kids Stuff: View and download content uploaded by their student.
  • Calendar: See all district, school, group, schoolwork and personal events for their student.
  • Groups: Monitor group announcements, pages, and resources. Group chat and discussions are not shown in the Parent Portal.
  • School: Find school announcements, resources, and a staff directory.

What can parents do?

  • Download files from students’ Stuff
  • Comment on Schoolwork
  • Send Conversations to your own students and to teachers and school staff.

We think this will be a fantastic way for schools to encourage parent involvement, and we encourage you to make this a part of your 21st-Century presence. Please leave a comment if you have ideas, suggestions, or questions related to the MBC Parent Portal.