Schools across the country have adopted online grade reporting, and Frisco Independent School District (FISD) is no exception. The system used by FISD secondary schools is called Home Access Center, or HAC, and provides students in grades 6 through 12 and their parents/guardians a very convenient way to keep track of student progress throughout the school year, rather than just at report card time.
FISD schools use the system to issue online reports cards every six weeks, as well as interim progress reports at the half-point of each grading period. Communication, in my experience, has been excellent, with emails alerting to upcoming and recently posted grade reports. In addition, however, the system is always available, allowing students and parents to check on the grade received on a particular assignment, or the current grade standing in a given class.
Let’s take a quick tour of the program.
The link to the website can be found on your school’s web page, as well as under the “links” section of the FISD homepage. This brings you to the login page, where you are prompted to enter your username and password. (Note: there is one account per student, and students share login information with their parents/guardians. If you have forgotten or lost your login information, use the student’s FISD assigned email account to send an email to the HAC Help Center for your campus. See here for a list of those campus Help Centers.)
Upon logging in, you will first see your student’s current class schedule. You’ll notice that the classes and teachers’ names are in blue, indicating a link. Clicking on a class link will provide further information about that class, as well as, in some cases, related content, if the teacher has chosen to add it. Clicking on a teacher’s name will open your email client so that you may contact that teacher via email. (Tip: right-click on the name to copy the email address, then paste it the addressee portion of an email if, like me, you use a web-based email program.)
I usually click immediately on the Classwork tab, because this is where the goods are. This brings you to a page that lists the current grades in each class, as well as the grades received on individual assignments, in a so-called Quick View, Expanded screen. You’ll soon notice that assignments are broken down into categories, including daily, minor, and major grades. A click on Full View at the top of the page will open sections that explain what the current average in each of those categories is, as well as how much that category is weighted in the overall class score. In both Quick View and Full View, you’ll have the option to click on the assignment name, popping open a new window with a little more information about the assignment. On occasion, you’ll also find a little speech bubble next to a grade: a click there gives you access to notes the teacher has left about that grade. Finally, if you just want to see the current class average, without all the clutter of the various assignments, click on Collapse All. From there, you can choose to open specific classes for more information. Notice that, by default, you are viewing grades from the current grading period, but you can view other grading periods by making changes in Report Card Run.
You’ll sometimes find that, instead of a grade in the score column, there is an X (exempt) or a CWS (Credit with Score), or some other abbreviation. FISD provides a handy table to help you decipher those codes. (I admit, I do wish this were included on the grades page itself, for handy reference.)
Obviously, checking our students’ grades is the main reason we visit HAC, but there is other helpful information there, too. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find if you click the other sections of the site:
Home: This brings you to a calendar listing of the student’s assignments. It can be filtered a variety of ways by checking/unchecking boxes on the left.
Attendance: This brings you to a color-coded calendar of the student’s attendance. (And, there’s an almost overwhelming coding system for all the types of absences. Luckily, the color key is right there on the page!)
Classes: This brings you to the grading information I covered in detail above.
Grades: Here you can see the Report Card grades (every six weeks) and the IPR (Interim Progress Report) grades
Registration: On this page you will see an overview of all the student’s demographic and contact information. It’s a good idea to check on this to make sure there are no errors. This is also where you’ll find your student’s counselor’s name, which is hyperlinked to that counselor’s email address.
Finally, if you’d like to change your password, hover over the student’s name in the upper right corner, then click on “My Account” when it appears. Just remember that you share that login information with your student and any other parents/guardians – so let them know that you’ve made these changes!
I’ve found HAC to be very helpful in keeping track of how my kids are doing. More importantly, I think, is that they use it regularly as well, so that they learn to monitor their own work and recognize when they might need to put in a little extra effort. While there is some variety between teachers, of course, I’ve been very pleased with how quickly teachers update the grades in HAC.
For more information, go to FISD’s HAC information site.