Online programs allow parents to monitor their child’s performance at school

School administrators say it's becoming easier for parents to keep an eye on their children thanks to online programs and mobile apps.

At North Scott Junior High School, teachers use a program called 'Canvas.' Soon, every parent with a child in seventh through twelfth grade will have access to the site, where they can see attendance, grades, assignments, due dates, and even classroom discussions.

"Observation is a really accurate name for it, but it's kinda like a creepy follower in a sense, where they're just kinda seeing how the student's day is laid out," said Erin McConnell, an instructional coach and Canvas coordinator.

School leaders say it's a way for parents to be proactive in helping their kid, before they see a final grade.

"Now, since it's in real time, and I know what's being assigned to my child every single day, if my child is assigned a test on Friday, I can help my child if I want to," said John Hawley, principal at North Scott Junior High.

Administrators say the app is already increasing communication between students and their parents, as well as parents and teachers.

Each family, though, has to strike their own balance.

"I think it's just a change in how parenting is happening right now, and that they're more involved than they have been. Obviously it's up to every family to find the balance between letting the student grow and be independent, and being involved and supporting them," said McConnell.

North Scott started using Canvas last year, offering parents the option of creating an account. The district hopes to have a log-in for every parent in the coming weeks.