Skip to main content

A Parents' Guide to P-H-M Technology

Parents, we want you to be informed about the technology P-H-M has put in place to serve you and your child.

 

As part of P-H-M’s strategic technology goals, the District is 1:1 with Chromebooks or iPads with every student in the District, nearly 11,000 students! Students in grades 6-12 (@6,000 students) are issued a personal Chromebook device. Penn High School students were the first to receive Chromebooks at the start of the 2014 school year, followed by all three middle schools in 2015. Elementary students in grades 1-5 have Chromebooks to use in the classrooms during the school day and Kindergartners use iPads.

 

Look below for information about our digital devices, instructional resourcescommunication tools, internet safety at home and at school and other online resources used across the school district—all chosen to give our students rich, relevant learning experiences on their way to graduating college and career ready.


DIGITAL DEVICES

 

Chromebooks – Browsers can expand learning and extend students’ reach

Chromebooks are lightweight personal devices (keyboard with hinged screen/lid) designed for browsing the internet and accessing network items. P-H-M issues one to each middle school and high school student to carry home and use throughout their secondary school career.  Read more about the advantages of P-H-M’s Chromebook initiative and the benefits it provides to our students. 

More details can also be found on Penn, Discovery, Grissom and Schmucker’s websites.

 

​iPads – These small tablets are a good fit for young children in the Primary grades

Our iPads are loaded with educational software and learning games, and students enjoy using them. They are meant to supplement, not replace, instruction. Students are always supervised when using iPads in the classroom.


COMMUNICATION TOOLS

 

HAC – Stores your students’ personal and demographic information

It’s pronounced hack, and it stands for Home Access Center. Using HAC parents can go online to see information such as attendance, schedules, grades, health, discipline, guardians and contact details that is  kept on their student in the eSchoolPLUS database. 

 

Canvas – Shows your student’s schoolwork and classroom information

Canvas is a “learning management system” where students and parents go to find information such as assignments, deadlines, and classroom communications posted by teachers for specific classes. 

 

eLearning – Provides organized online learning outside the classroom when school is canceled

eLearning is facilitated by P-H-M teachers who create lesson plans and make them available online (and offline) for students to work on outside the classroom. eLearning is an alternative to scheduling make-up days. 

 

School Messenger – Sends parents automated school safety notifications

School Messenger can quickly dispatch thousands of phone calls, text messages, and emails when the district has urgent information to share. Parents parents must make sure their student(s) school has their most recent emergency contact information. By logging in to School Messenger’s InfoCenter, parents can indicate their preferred method of contact. 

 

Teacher Blogs & Google Sites – Gives teachers more ways to communicate and create

Blogging and building Google websites are two other approaches teachers may use to connect with students, parents, and colleagues. Interest is growing—new and engaging sites are popping up!

 

Facebook & Twitter – Parents, Principals, PTO’s—we all rely on these for sharing news

How great are P-H-M students!? We can't help but show them off a little! (Remember to confirm you are seeing official, not fake, accounts. If needed, request to join closed groups.) 


INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES

 

Clever – Allows students to visit numerous secure sites with a single login

Clever is the solution to the problem of multiple log-ins! Once logged in to P-H-M’s Clever portal, students can go directly to several of their most-used programs including Plato and Study Island.

 

Elementary Launch Pad – Visit this P-H-M page for quick access to age-appropriate applications 

Students will find some of their favorites here, and parents can browse offerings by subject. All are free and available online at home and at school. 

 

Links to Learning Resources – The educational software most used by Penn High students

This page on Penn’s website contains links to programs teachers recommend and students use. It is a quick way to find the one you need, then opening it either directly or through the Clever portal.


ONLINE SAFETY AT SCHOOL

 

P-H-M’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) – Expectations for users on the district’s network

It is important for students to understand and abide by the terms in the AUP. Agreement is implied by the act of logging in to the P-H-M network, making student users accountable for their online conduct. The AUP is published in the student handbooks each year. 

 

Hapara – A way for teachers to monitor and control what students do on Chromebooks

In addition to equipping teachers with interactive tools, Hapara runs a school-based filter that is always operating on the networks inside our buildings so students are safe while browsing.

 


ONLINE SAFETY AT HOME

 

OpenDNS – Make your home internet safer, faster, and more reliable

P-H-M’s Director of Information Technology strongly recommends that home networks and their users be protected! OpenDNS offers a free filter that can do that—blocking all adult content, for example—and more, if you choose to pay for upgraded services.   

OpenDNS “Family Shield” is free.


MORE ONLINE RESOURCES

 

P-H-M’s Web Store – A safe and convenient way to pay for school fees and services

We’ve partnered with RevTrak to create an online store which accepts electronic payments for certain charges and purchases. Go to the P-H-M Web Store (phm.revtrak.net) to pay for book fees, Kids Club, Early Learning Academy, and Community Ed classes. 

 

School Cafe – Parents can monitor their student’s cafeteria purchases and pay for them online

See what Junior is eating and limit the choices, if you wish. Keep tabs on account balances and replenish when needed—all online!  

 


HOME INTERNET ACCESS

 

Discount Plans – Internet access is becoming more important, and more affordable!

Several national discount programs are available to help eligible families get online, including the two below. The “everyone on” program lists a number of resources, including free/discounted computers and user training, for households who meet income requirements.