Virtual counselor allows you to take full control of the classroom and learning experience like never before. From my teaching experience, students and parents are often not on the same track. Calls for grades, assignment history and progress become more frequent as the year progresses. Through the Pinnacle Internet Viewer, it is possible for students and parents to have a virtual counselor that they can turn to at all times.
What is Broward School Virtual Counselor?
In short, students and parents are able to quickly access the student’s information that has been input into the counselor.
How many times have you had to call teachers about grades, absences or test scores?
This is what the Florida virtual school has made as easy and simple as possible. Instead of having to wait for teachers to respond, parents are able to keep a close eye on their children’s activities at all times. There is also a benefit of fewer teacher hours lost in the process. This is a win-win for all parties.
Through an online web portal, credentials for parents and students are provided, you can log right into the system to view any activity provided. Teachers, like me, can input the following information improving the classroom experience:
- Absences: A complete overview of student absences.
- Academic History: Divided by year. All classes and grades are listed.
- Student Assignment History: Shown by school year, school and entry date.
- Graduation Information: Requirements, projected graduation, GPA and more.
- Marking Period Grades: A listing of courses, teacher names and grades.
- Student Schedule: The marking period schedule of the student with building, room and teacher information listed.
- Test Scores: The test name and scores of the student for current and past school years.
Teachers are able to enter in all of this information as it occurs. If tests are graded, this information can be added into the database so that parents can see the grade immediately. With all of the information being remotely inputted and accessed, it is an easier means of counseling that benefits all parties involved.
Inside Virtual Counselor
Inside the virtual learning academy, users will be able to quickly gain access to all information in a student’s database. Users will want to ensure that they have:
- A strong internet connection.
- An updated, compatible Internet browser.
- Login information.
If you have all of this ready to go, it is time to log into the system. This is a simple process where you will be able to choose one of the following: Student or Parent. This information will be displayed on the top left of your browser.
Credentials will be provided by administrators at the beginning of the year, or the first year when the student enrolls in the school.
After logging in as a parent, you’ll be able to choose an existing student from a list and be able to immediately view their information. This is useful if there is more than one student attending a school.
The Immediate Screen
Immediately upon logging in, you will find the student’s absence information. This is a calendar which is displayed by month. Changing dates can be done either right underneath the calendar or by clicking the arrows to scroll through the listed months.
A legend with all pertinent information is found to the right that displays what each color or letter indicates. This includes:
- Excuses or unexcused days missed
- Days tardy
To the left of the screen, you’ll find a total absences list that shows just how many days your child has missed.
This is one of my favorite parts of the counselor as it allows parents to quickly and easily see if their child is truly attending class. If they are not and no excuse is given, a potential problem can be fixed quickly.
From here, you’ll be able to change the displayed information by changing the page by choosing from the Student Info section up top. You’ll also see Educational and School Links listed for further school-centric information.
The academic history tab is next and provides basic information on the classes taken. This page has a listing broken down into school years. Course titles, numbers and term grades are listed. Credits attempted and earned are also provided.
If you find that a student did badly in a subject, the next section will help greatly.
In addition to a student’s academic history, parents will also find a full assignment history as inputted by school staff. Essential information is provided within this section to see which classes a student was assigned to and how they performed.
Information pertaining to graduation. This is the ultimate chart that displays everything, including:
- Projected graduation year
- Learning hours required/recorded
- Class ranking and percentile
Underneath this information, there are subjects with their related courses and credit hours earned.
Marking Period Grades
A quick overview of course titles, teachers, exam and final grades. This has all marking period grades for all of the years that the student has been enrolled within the school. Marking period grades are kept up-to-date by teachers and provide an overview of the student’s overall performance.
I recommend that parents view this page at least once a month.
Divided by marking period. A complete student schedule with course title, teacher name, school, building and room listed. This information is essential for students who are waiting to see their new schedule, but much less important for parents.
The final part of the parent section includes a place to see all student test scores. The test date, subtest, score and percentile are included. School years are provided for easy, fast browsing.
Pinnacle Internet Viewer
A separate portion of virtual counselor. The Pinnacle Internet Viewer, or Pinnacle Gradebook, provides real-time access to parents and students. While virtual counselor provides a basis for an “at-a-glance view” of student activities, PIV provides so much more.
- Real-time viewing of grades with beautiful charts and graphs to see progress.
- Real-time attendance to closely monitor student activities and ensure that they are present in school.
This is a platform that aims to increase teacher productivity and student performance. Viewing trends at a glance, it also allows for students to increase their effectiveness and teachers to adapt their style to meet student needs. Parents are also able to benefit by taking a proactive approach thanks to real-time information.
Grade and attendance information can also be emailed automatically to parents. This option is available within the system and is a friendly reminded of how well your child is performing.
One of my favorite points about this program from an administrative point of view is that it can be used anywhere. A third-party app has also been created for Android users to have full functionality right on their smartphone. Not only do teachers learn from this pertinent data, but so do students and parents.
New students that may have a difficult time adapting to new teaching styles will be able to judge their progress thanks to the gradebook. With an easy way to see learning trend analysis, students and teachers can alter their approach to achieve the utmost in grades.
Virtual counselor runs on the cloud so that schools can integrate this system without having to invest in expensive software. Teachers are able to reduce counseling needs while meeting the demands of their students in a streamlined manner. Through trend analysis, teachers can also tweak their teaching methods to better suit specific students, or they can quickly analyze when grades began to drop.
Learn more about VC and how it can help schools, teachers and students alike.