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Bryan ISD online signup, resource access easier with new application
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Bryan ISD online signup, resource access easier with new application

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Beginning this fall, the Bryan school district will be using ClassLink, a service that allows students and parents to log in once and access all of its online resources and applications.

Instead of having to keep up with different usernames and passwords for each website or application, ClassLink will save users' log-in information for each resource and store it so users will only need to log in to ClassLink.

ClassLink is available on all devices online at classlink.bryanisd.org or via phone or tablet applications.

The program also lets parents link their accounts to their children so they can access information connected with multiple students -- bus schedules, absences and meal balances -- in one location instead of having a separate login for each child.

"You jump between all these different sites. Well, now I can give you one page to log into, and it's all there," Executive Director of Instructional Support Julea Johnson said.

Each student will have all of their resources in one location as well, so everything they use in their classes will be easily accessible.

Students in pre-kindergarten through second grades will have a quick card sign-in in the form of a printed QR code they will receive from their teacher. The student can then scan the code with a computer or phone camera, so they do not have to remember a username or password.

"We're really thinking it's going to be a huge timesaver in the classroom instead of fighting those log-ins that students can't remember how to get in," Johnson said.

Each student and parent will have access to different applications and resources, including Google-based resources, depending on the students' activities and grade level.

As part of the service, parents and students also will get notifications from teachers or district officials. The notifications appear on the desktop or home screen after they log in to ClassLink. The notifications can be scheduled and specifically targeted to students in a certain grade, school, club or sport or specifically to parents in the district.

The Bryan accounts will include access to the district website, the B-Safe app, SafeStop, Blackboard and ParentLink, AlphaBEST, eSchool and Google accounts.

With no limits to the number of accounts that can be associated with a child, other family members can be added as needed.

By connecting their Blackboard and ParentLink account to ClassLink, Johnson said, "[Parents] can actually go in and see their messages digitally like in an email format and not get phone calls if they don't want to and be able to set preferences once they get in."

The district also will receive analytics to determine what resources are being used most often or underutilized, she said.

"In the past, some of the ones we've adopted with our instructional material -- our textbooks, if you will -- haven't had as much usage just because there were so many log-ins and passwords to get through to the different things, so we're hoping this will streamline that for our kids and teachers as well," she added.

The one-year $50,000 agreement will be funded by the district's instructional materials and technology allotment instead of the local technology budget. It also will take the place of SAFARI Montage, Johnson said, because teachers are using Google applications more often for videos.

If the district likes how ClassLink is implemented and sees a benefit in its usage, she said, the district can then go back and negotiate a multi-year deal.

As ClassLink is rolled out for the 2018-2019 school year, the district will establish a help line to assist parents and students as they set up their accounts. The district will also work to provide video tutorials to help.

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