ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — August 20, 2008 — As the 2008-2009 school year begins, parents of Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students will be better informed about what happens at school regardless of their location or deployment status.
DoDEA is implementing GradeSpeed, a web-based program that allows parents and teachers to interact electronically – sharing grades, attendance data and other information.
The program will be available for grades 4-12 in all DoDEA schools worldwide for the 2008-2009 school year.
"GradeSpeed is a powerful tool to help parents and teachers share information about student academics," said Richard Gamble, Instructional Technology Integration Branch Chief at DoDEA.
DoDEA's unique mission of educating the children of service members – many of whom deploy during the school year – makes communication especially critical.
"While programs like this are helpful for all parents and students, imagine how important it will be for a service member who is in a place like Iraq," said Gamble. "If we can help a parent stay connected to their child's academic progress, regardless of where they are in the world – that's powerful."
Gamble said DoDEA looked at 36 technologies before choosing GradeSpeed.
"We chose GradeSpeed because it's been road tested," he added. "It's been around since 1986 and has a proven track record of interfacing with programs we already use."
To access the system or to learn more about GradeSpeed, parents can go to http://dodea.gradespeed.net. Schools can also provide more information about how to sign up.
After logging in, parents will be able to see grade and attendance data for their own children. The teacher will also be able to email progress reports to parents. Parents will also be able to view school announcements and calendar events.
Another important tool will allow parents to contact teachers directly through a "notes" feature. Parents can download and print information from GradeSpeed.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.