Blair will eventually replace BEN with countywide program

Dec. 17, 2005, midnight | By Devon Madison | 18 years, 6 months ago

"Edline" allows students to check updated grades online

Blair administration will eventually replace the Blair Education Network (BEN) with a new countywide program, "Edline," that will allow parents and students to check students' grades online, according to the MCPS website.

According to an Edline help page found on the MCPS website, Edline is "a web-based tool that allows parents/guardians to monitor student's class-based performance online, check for large projects or assignments and communicate with teachers." It also provides private, individualized student reports that detail facts about a student's performance, like missing homework assignments, grades and attendance.

Edline has other features as well. Using Edline, students and staff can post team and club-specific material and general school announcements, such as future lunch menus or school cancellations and events. The program will also send out reminders to students and staff when important information is available at the school's website, such as attendance information.

In compliance with the new program, teachers and staff are expected to update the grades on Edline every two weeks, so that the updates available will be accurate. Edline also makes it a priority to make posting information and grades as easy as possible, so that teachers will actually be able use the program with little trouble.

Eileen Steinkraus, who is head of the Magnet Program at Blair and also administering the switch from First Class mail to Outlook mail, said that very little is known about the change from BEN or when the program will be implemented. "Eventually, something called Edline will be instituted at Blair. With Edline, parents and students can look up grades. I don't know enough about the program to say more," Steinkraus said.

Steinkraus says that Edline will not be instituted immediately, but may be instituted anytime between second semester and next school year. The implementation of this change, like the change to Outlook Mail, will be staggered throughout the county, meaning that other schools may see the implementation of this program before Blair does. "It may not this semester, or even this year," says Steinkraus.

Montgomery County high schools that have already instituted Edline include Watkins Mill, Winston Churchill, Northwest and Damascus.

The program has many similar aspects to BEN, but may not have as many Blair-related features like being able to run chats online. "Edline may not be as useful to students," Steinkraus says. Edline does, however, have many of the same features as BEN.

Although the actual intent of the implementation is unclear, Steinkraus guesses that the program is being instituted out of convenience. "It's easier for [the county] if things are standardized," she says. Edline also highly emphasizes the ability to allow students to check grades. Another possible reason for the institution of Edline is the fact that other schools in the county may not have their own independent programs, like Blair does.

More information will follow when Blair-specific information is available. In the meantime, general information about Edline can be found at the Edline web site.

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