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Making Connections with Parents and Students

Brighton High School, Brighton

When my daughter started her freshman year, I became an avid mobile app user, said Katy Yates, mother of McKenna Yates, a junior at Brighton High School. I am on my phone all day constantly checking grades, assignments, attendance… you name it. Being a busy mom of three, the Campus mobile app is an easy way for me to stay involved in McKenna’s education."
Katy and McKenna Yates

MAKING CONNECTIONS WITH PARENTS AND STUDENTS
Listening to end users has always been a number one priority for Infinite Campus. Charlie Kratsch, Founder and CEO, flies more than 40,000 miles a year attending User Groups and visiting schools across the country to interact with users. While traveling, Charlie often wears a Campus-logoed shirt or hat. Doing so leads to conversations with parents and students who associate Infinite Campus with grades, school announcements, and ultimately…the educational experience.

Working at an airport, I see a lot of people…but I always recognized Charlie (Infinite Campus Founder and CEO), said Katy Yates, a parent and avid mobile app user. He walks in wearing a Campus t-shirt in the summer and a Campus sweatshirt in the winter. I always yell, ‘Hey, it’s my Infinite Campus guy!’ He never said what he did for the company; I thought he was a sales representative."

PARENTS: EASY WAY TO STAY INVOLVED
Today’s rapidly evolving technology has bridged the communication gap between educators, students, and parents. Teens spend nearly nine hours a day on their phones. Adults spend nearly four hours a day on their phones and 90% of that time is spent using apps. Campus Parent and Campus Student, the Infinite Campus web portals and mobile apps, allow parents and students real-time access to grades, attendance, assignments, and schedules. These portals and apps connect parent to teacher, teacher to student, and student to parent.

“When my daughter started her freshman year, I became an avid mobile app user,” said Katy Yates, mother of McKenna Yates, a junior at Brighton High School. “I am on my phone all day constantly checking grades, assignments, attendance… you name it. Being a busy mom of three, the Campus mobile app is an easy way for me to stay involved in McKenna’s education. 

I hate to admit it, but without the app I’d have very little knowledge of what is going on in a day-to-day classroom setting. ‘Good’ is the typical response when you ask your child, ‘How was your day?’ Most kids are not going to tell you about a specific quiz or assignment. Without the app, I would not know what McKenna’s academic life is like.”

For Infinite Campus, truly connecting with users means going to them. In the past year:

41,344 MILES (53 flights) 

flown by Charlie Kratsch, Founder and CEO, to visit U.S. schools and attend User Groups.

627 FLIGHTS 

by Campus employees to implement, train, and connect with district staff

1,141 HOTEL ROOMS 

occupied by Campus employees.

288 VEHICLES 

rented by employees.

TEACHERS SET ME UP FOR SUCCESS.
Katy said that parents simply did not have the same classroom insight, even just a few years ago, that is available today. As technology advances, so does parent involvement. Seeing into the classroom is possible 24/7 through one’s fingertips. “I never used to know the topics that were being covered in McKenna’s classes. Now, teachers enter the topic for a quiz or the assignments they are working on that week, giving me an idea of what McKenna is studying. To me, it’s a prompt for a discussion about the topic she is covering in class. And, McKenna can take it as far as she wants with me regarding those talks. But she’s aware that I’m aware, and I hope it makes her feel like I’m a parent who cares about what she does every day. I can only thank the teachers and Infinite Campus for that. 

The notifications are another reason I love the app. When I get an alert, I can immediately see a grade that was posted or an assignment that was marked missing.” 

BALANCING THE GOOD WITH THE BAD.
“I like Infinite Campus because it shows everything, the good and the bad. I don’t want to withhold praise when she’s doing a great job. I want to make sure we are communicating about everything, not just a lower grade. If McKenna does well on an assignment or test, I will take a screenshot and send it to her with the hand-raise emoji. On the flip side, if something looks questionable, I’ll screenshot it and send it with a question mark asking, ‘What happened here?’ 

It’s not only the day-to-day assignments and grades, I use the app to regularly check attendance. As a cross country athlete, McKenna can miss a decent amount of school during the sport’s season. If she does miss school, I’ll check the app at least once a week to make sure absences were excused, saving

STUDENTS: ALWAYS ON THE GO
Managing a busy schedule can be a challenge for students. The academics, a social life, sports, and extracurricular activities can become overwhelming. Campus Student, both a web portal and mobile app, helps manage that. Campus Student puts school information in students’ hands with 24/7 accessibility. That’s real-time access to announcements, assignments, attendance, grades, schedules, and much more. 

McKenna Yates, a devoted Campus Student user, shared how she keeps life running smoothly. 

“As a busy student-athlete, I use both Campus Student web portal and the mobile app,” McKenna said. “I would say 90% of the time I’m using the app, as I’m always on the go. I can’t tell you how many times I look in Infinite Campus to see what my grade is for an assignment or test. Or, double check my attendance to make sure my coach contacted the office to excuse my absences for my meets. The schedule is also handy, especially at the beginning of a new semester. As I change my schedule, I can check frequently to see if I got certain periods and classes.” 

FAVORITE EXPERIENCE.
“One of my favorite things about Campus Student is at the end of the semester. I’m so anxious to see how I did on my finals. I’m constantly checking, waiting for the notification. Then you get the notification and quickly, relief sets in…‘Thank goodness, I passed.’”

As a busy student-athlete, I use both Campus Student web portal and the mobile app. I would say 90% of the time I’m using the app, as I’m always on the go. I can’t tell you how many times I look in Infinite Campus to see what my grade is for an assignment or test."

STUDENT-TEACHER COMMUNICATION

Teachers love a student who is engaged. And an easy way for students to stay engaged is Campus Student. “There have been a few times when I saw a specific grade posted incorrectly. I simply visited the teacher and got it all cleared up…within just a couple hours. For example, a teacher gave me 80/100 on a quiz last week and my notebook shows 100/100. Once I got 175% on a Spanish assignment and even though I was thrilled, I brought it up to the teacher for correction. Without the app, I wouldn’t have known about these until the end of the semester.”

TATTLETALE APP?
“Sometimes my friends say, ‘Oh dang, my parents just called me about a missing assignment.’ But most of the time, if you keep your grades up, it’s not a problem. I understand that if students are struggling, then sure, they might not be a fan of the app. But from what I can tell, my friends love it and so do their parents. It’s great!”

We’ve used Infinite Campus for years; it’s very user friendly...I love it."
Shelly Genereux, Brighton High School Principal


Full 2019 Travel Issue available here.