Wednesday July 28, 1999
Log in to check on kids' studies Computer site tracks homework
By Jennifer Gish Dispatch/Sunday News
So, when his information technology company, St. Andrew Development Inc. in York,
started brainstorming about education programs, McKee said he quickly remembered a
Disneyland vacation he took several years ago with two of his children.
Wondering if his daughter had completed her missed school assignments during the trip,
McKee said he asked his daughter what her teacher told her to do during the vacation. And
he said he was told matter-of-factly by his child that the teacher told her to "have
a great time."
Because students are sometimes inclined to forget about homework assignments or lose
them on their way home from school, McKee's company developed a program called SchooLink
which keeps records of students' class assignments and provides links to teachers' e-mail
addresses, so parents and students can communicate with the faculty outside of school.
"We're hoping to bridge that gap," said McKee, the president of St. Andrew.
"It's really a universal concern that parents have." The Dover Area School District and York Catholic High School will use the
program this fall. McKee said he is hoping more area schools will begin using
the program as well.
Students will receive identification numbers, which they use to log in to the site and
get a listing of their assignments. Teachers will update homework assignments daily. An
archive of past homework also is available.
Dover will pay for the program through grant money and funds provided by state Rep.
Todd Platts, R-Springettsbury, Dover Area Superintendent George Severns said. "The
whole push has been to make a stronger connection with the community, and about three
years ago we decided we want to make that an electronic connection as well," he said.
Assignments will be updated on the Web site for kindergarten through 12th-graders. And
because not all students have access to the Internet at home, Severns said the district
hopes to install kiosks with the program in several community locations, such as Rutter's
About 80 percent of the students in grades seven through 12 at York Catholic have
Internet access at home, said Principal George Andrews. The 20 percent who don't can check
assignments at school through its on-line computers.
"It will help the parents when Johnny comes home and says he doesn't have any
homework for English," he said.