courtesy of the Escondido PTA Communications team
Infinite Campus is the Palo Alto Unified School District’s new student information system. You might remember receiving a slightly confusing pair of letters about it earlier in the school year. If you remain confused about what exactly it was telling you about, you aren’t alone.
So here’s a short guide to Infinite Campus in the hope of explaining what it is for, how you might want to use it and why you really should log in to it before too long. Thanks to Ann Dunkin, the PAUSD’s new Director of Technology, for putting us straight on all this.
What is Infinite Campus?
Infinite Campus is the new student information system for the Palo Alto Unified School District. It contains electronic records of student enrollment along with information about student attendance, grades and health issues that the district needs to be aware of. Parents and guardians can access the system to see directory and other information held in the database and change it where it needs correcting (changes to your home address still need to be made in person at the District’s main office, though).
Okay, but elementary students don’t receive grades and I can’t see any attendance data there.
Various aspects of Infinite Campus are being rolled out gradually. By the end of this term, for example, you will be able to see your child’s attendance record at the site. Elementary teachers will also have the option of sharing their progress reports (which students receive instead of grades) via Infinite Campus. Parents with children in the secondary grades will use the system even more (it will eventually replace the current ‘In Class’ system).
What were those odd letters about Infinite Campus that we received back in September?
Those letters gave each parent or guardian of a student registered in the district a unique code to log into the system for the first time.
Why were they addressed to ‘the parent/guardian of’ my child and not individually?
That was the result of an internal communications error and the district’s sorry if you were confused. There was one letter for each parent or guardian, so most households got two. Secondary students also have their own access – so households with a secondary student will have received an extra letter for each such student. In fairness, the Infinite Campus roll out happened much faster than the district would have liked, the result of its previous system being unexpectedly obsoleted.
Did I really need to log on to Infinite Campus right away?
If you are an elementary parent, it wasn’t so vital. But it’s worth doing to check that the district has the right email, phone and address contact details for you. And when you are there you can check how the district thinks you’d like to be contacted (by phone or email, for example) in the case of either emergency or routine school issues.
So I don’t actually need to log on now?
Not really, but this how you will re-register your child for school next year. So at the very least you will need to log on then.
I heard other people have been getting informational calls or emails from the district when I’ve received nothing. Why is that?
It may be that you have an old email or phone number still attached to your record or have requested not to be contacted. Log on to check your preferences and change them if need be. The data for some families also didn’t migrate seamlessly from the old registration system. Nearly all records are now correct, however. Still, if in doubt, just log on to check.
I threw that letter with my initial access code away – what should I do?
Contact the PAUSD IT team at infinitecampus [at] pausd [dot] org and they’ll send it to you again. In a few weeks the district will also be resending codes via email to households where no account is activated.
Is Infinite Campus really just about grades, registration and contact details?
No. It will share all these, as mentioned above. But it will also eventually offer a way to pay fees, such as for school lunches or field trips (that would be up to individual teachers).
Will Infinite Campus replace the need for individual class email groups on Yahoo, Google or a service like UpToUs?
Not entirely. Teachers will be able to use it to contact parents in their class, but room parents won’t. If a classroom needs activities organized by someone other than its teacher, then it will need to use a site like the ones mentioned above.
How secure is Infinite Campus?
The database is secured to US Department of Defense standards. No-one should be able to access your or your child’s records except you. But, as with any secure online resource, people will be able to access your account if you allow them access to your password.