Students at Meridian high schools will get their own email accounts through the district’s website when they return to school in the fall.
The good news: Teachers will have a quick way to get in touch with students about classroom assignments, updates and reminders.
The bad news: It will become increasingly difficult for students to suggest they never knew they were supposed to write that paper on Chapter 7 in the textbook.
Student email accounts are possible because the district has installed Microsoft 365, a cloud-based email system districtwide that allows a virtually unlimited number of email addresses. District officials say they were able to add the student accounts at no additional cost.
Emails between students and teachers aren’t new. Instructors have tried to cobble together lists of student email accounts — Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo — and create a distribution group for delivery before. But results were spotty, said Eric Exline, the Meridian district’s spokesman.
The new student emails will be assigned to students using the 10-digit number that is part of the state’s system for tracking students, along with student names.
District officials say students will be able to link to the email accounts through their smartphones. Those without smartphone or computers would be able to use computer labs at schools.
Parents who do not want their kids to have an email account can opt out.
Another advantage of the system is it will allow students to submit some of their work as an attachment to an email.
Which raises another question: Is the old standby — “The dog ate my homework” — now obsolete?