Change is hard for some, embraced more readily by others. The Montclair School district changed its student data system from Star Portal to Skyward Family Access this summer for a more comprehensive system, but it hasn’t been without kinks.
Many parents, myself included, had a difficult time getting a username or password from the district—despite emails requesting them. However, once I was finally able to log in, I found it quite easy to fill out and confirm both of my daughter’s information. If the kinks are worked out, I feel positive about Skyward and think if used properly between teachers, administrators and parents, it’s a great addition to the district.
Other parents are not so happy. Some have left comments on Barista Kids about the issues:
I hate to be right about this, but….Skyward is a MESS. First, I never received the email about it and had to request. About a week later I also got a printed letter. Neither email or letter had my log in or password. Finally tracked those down…But the REQUIRED forms are not all on there. So I am required to fill out forms, I supposedly have the option to do it online, but really I don’t. It was easier to just get the packet and do it with a pen.
I agree that Skyward is a mess. I got (2) emails from the the Bd of Ed, (1) sort of addressed to me (it had my name wrong) and (1) addressed to my ex, who’s name was also wrong btw.(oops)
At no point in the email did it mention that skyward was replacing star portal (which I think would have been helpful) or information on who to contact if you have questions. I spent 2 hours trying to find help. When I called the Bd of Ed they told me to call my kid’s school, when I called the school they told me to check the website. Ugh!
Here is a copy of the entire email I got: “You have been given an account to Skyward Family Access. Your Login ID is: wrong name
Click on the following link to obtain a password to access this system.”
Another parent is angry about another issue and wrote to us:
I have a big problem with it. I intend to ask the board about it at the next meeting, and I am feeling ornery enough to try to interest some wider press. The very first step the system take me to is a page in which I must categorize my child’s race and ethnicity.
As a matter of principle, I always leave this question blank. But the system does not allow me that option. In fact, it conveniently has boxes already checked, and I cannot find a way to bypass the question. Many families in Montclair will certainly find the available categories limiting or inaccurate.
But the part that really should make headlines is that the system informs me that my child’s ethnicity and race have not been “validated.” Seriously.
How do you feel about Skyward?