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October 18, 2006
For immediate release
New Technology Helps Improve Student Achievement
The Department of Education finalized a contract this week that will provide all schools with new StudentsAchieve software over the next three years. This web-based application includes a variety of online tools to collect such information as student attendance, marks, assignment and course information. Students, parents, and teachers have secure access to view this information at any time on the internet.
Education Minister Mildred Dover said the Department of Education is pleased to provide funding for the new software. “The StudentsAchieve program directly supports our current priorities which are to improve student achievement, to improve students’ experience at school, and to involve more parents in schools and learning,” she said. “By sharing information on student progress, we have better informed parents, more motivated students and improved communication between the school and the home.”
Colonel Gray Senior High School Principal Bob Andrews said his school has been using the software successfully for over a year. “We know that student engagement and parent involvement influences student achievement. With StudentsAchieve we can now actively involve students and parents in new ways. By doing so, we can improve student achievement at Colonel Gray,” he said.
The software was field tested by seven Island schools two years ago and used by 15 Island schools last year to monitor student attendance and marks. Colonel Gray is the first Island school to use the software to communicate with parents. All schools will soon have access to the full suite of StudentsAchieve products, following the signing of a $200,000 agreement this week by the Department of Education and StudentsAchieve, a Canadian company based in Alberta.
Over the next three years, the program will be phased in at all schools, beginning with high schools. This will ensure that schools have the time and supports they need to learn to use the software effectively.
Wendy MacDonald, Chair of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation said parents and students find the new software very helpful. “Through StudentsAchieve, parents have access to a wealth of timely information on their children’s progress that they never had before. Students also really like the system because it helps them to keep track of their work and progress. The Home and School Federation encourages teachers to use the technology because it is extremely helpful to parents in supporting their children’s learning,” she said.
The Department of Education has provided additional funding of $100,000 to the school boards this year to support the use of other software to improve student achievement.