Did you see the the Baltimore Sun article: “Howard County school system rushed rollout of new software, teachers say“?  As a parent of a child in High School in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), this is very concerning to me. I have talked with my child numerous times about the new systems and I can tell you that she misses the old system from last year (and she really did not like that one much). Apparently Canvas and Synergy are a mess and the implementation has not gone as planned.

There are two items in the Baltimore Sun article that I wanted to note in this post:

  1. “Students gained access to the system during the second week of school in early September, and Bassett said that parents will probably gain access later this fall.” – Seriously? Luckily my child and I have been reviewing the system together but the statement is just ridiculous. We as parents are asked regularly to review the online systems for updates on our children’s progress and for this not to be ready day 1 of school year is a big miss by the administration.
  2. “Right now, our biggest concern is teaching teachers and staff how to use the program,” said Cosentino (HCAA president and the principal of Clemens Crossing Elementary School). “The challenge is you have digital immigrants who have done things a certain way for a long time, and then there are people for whom this is natural. There is a wide variety of people and we have to make sure we support that.” – WOW!!! Is it not the responsibility of the administration to train the staff and hold them accountable to the systems implemented? I guess when the system is rushed out and proper training does not happen you can’t hold anyone accountable and so we end up with a mess. Also – “Digital Immigrants” seems a harsh term to use and to be honest I am a bit shocked that this is an acceptable term for a leader to use.

So in summary…poor implementation and lack of training has us in the situation we are in today. I seriously hope that this gets resolved VERY soon. Maybe those staff working 18 hours a day will get all of the kinks out of the system soon…just curious once the system problems are resolved, how the administration plans to correct the lack of proper training for the staff and teachers. This will be key in providing students and parents with accurate and up to date information (kind of the whole point of these systems).

Scott E