Lighthouse - Report Card

The Very Finest in Report Card Software

Surfside Lighthouse offers the most comprehensive report card system we have ever published.  While retaining all the functionality of our earlier grade reporting systems, Lighthouse makes giant strides forward in the extent of data available for each student as well as the way in which data is interpreted and presented to parents.

That was the "hype" paragraph.  Now what does that mean?

Surfside Lighthouse offers a report card system with literally billions of paths that you can follow through the program.  It adapts itself easily to virtually any school's grading system.  Lighthouse makes the collection of grades from the teachers a simple and straightforward process.

How does it work?

The simple explanation is as follows:  You tell the program about your school's grading system, you collect grades from the teachers electronically and you print your report cards. 

How you describe your grading system is the very cornerstone of Lighthouse report card functionality.  Lighthouse allows you to define virtually every aspect of your grading system - from marking period names, to credit apportionment to a virtually unlimited number of comments and other descriptors teachers can use to keep parents better informed about their child's progress. 

Twenty years ago we used to chuckle when folks would say "all schools do grades the way we do".  They don't!  Every single school has slight variations on the grading process.  Surfside's experience in this arena is unparalleled in the industry.  We understand the need to present a lot of information to parents in a clear, concise format.  We understand that report card generation needs to be as labor-free as possible so your school doesn't run to a screeching halt every time grades go out.

Back in the mid-1980's a lot of report card software still used optical scan sheets.  Optical scanning machines were expensive and the consumables required a continuing financial outlay.  That's why we introduced "parallel data entry" all the way back in 1983!  In those days, we had "teacher disks" that the office made and distributed to teachers - the teachers entered their grades on the disks and returned them to the office, where the grades were loaded from diskette into the main program.  This saved schools thousands of dollars over the years and ensured the most accurate possible submission of grades.  Today's Surfside Lighthouse offers a teacher access client that allows teachers to sit at any computer on your network and submit their end-of-marking-period grades.  The system even keeps you informed of who has not submitted grades so that you will know how close you are to having all grades ready to go.

With Surfside Lighthouse grades may be reported as traditional letter or numeric grades as well as with points, numeric grades with letter equivalents, letter grades with numeric equivalents and more. 

Report card grades may be presented as:

Numeric 95
Letter A


Numeric/Letter 95 (A)
Letter/Numeric A (95)
Points/Letter 4.0 (A)
Letter/Points A (4.0)
Numeric/Points 95 (4.0)
Any combination of the above!

In addition to user-defined effort/conduct descriptors and comments, teachers may also enter an anecdotal comment of unlimited length for each grade they submit.

Report card output can be generated with a number of different user-selected options.  Such options include decimal precision of numbers (grades and QPA's), additional demographic fields, field captions, mailing address (for use with window envelopes) and much more.

Lighthouse's report card function is all about Maximum Flexibility with Minimum Fuss:

  • Report card letter grades may be defined with characteristics that emphasize Lighthouse's versatility
  • Marking periods may be defined to include remote teacher access, automatic averaging and more
  • Definitions may be changed at any time during the grading process without requiring the user to "backtrack"
  • All scheduling data is shared automatically with the report card function - there are no "copying" or other housekeeping activities

Core Features of Lighthouse's Report Card Function:

  • There may be up to 99 courses per student per school year
  • You may define a virtually unlimited number of marking periods per school year
  • Schools may create up to 500 user-defined letter grades
  • Numeric course grades may be used, including decimal grades (if the student got a 92.37 you can report that, if you really want to)
  • You may define up to 999 user-defined comments
  • Teachers may assign any number of user-defined comments per course (unless the office decides to limit that number)
  • Teachers may enter an anecdotal "free comment" of unlimited length as part of each student's "grade package" for a particular course
  • A virtually unlimited number of effort and conduct descriptors may be defined - and if you don't want to call them "effort" and "conduct" you may change the captions for those two fields.
  • Daily attendance can be automatically included on report cards based on the range of dates covered by each marking period
  • Class rank and honor roll may be computed at any time
  • Report cards may be printed at multiple printer locations (i.e. one machine can do a class and another machine a different class - this speeds things up when you're on a deadline)
  • GPA's are re-computed automatically as grades are entered or edited
  • The program can automatically average across marking periods if the user so directs
  • "Bonus points" may be awarded for honors or advanced placement courses, as defined by the user
  • Lighthouse computes grade and comment distributions by teacher, course or department
  • Lighthouse compiles comment statistics by frequency, entry key or comment name
  • Numerous searches for grades and comments are available
  • Report card labels feature prints a very condensed form of the report card in label format, for use by schools that do not utilize Lighthouse's historical transcript functionality.  The labels may be published and affixed to a student's permanent record file.
  • GPA Variance Report - Research has shown that a student whose GPA falls 10% or more between the first and second marking periods may often be at the beginning of a slide that continues throughout the year.  Unfortunately, if this student starts out with a solid "B" grade point average, a 10% drop in GPA won't be dramatic enough for her to show up o­n failure lists.  The GPA variance report helps track such students by permitting staff to search for any student whose GPA went up or down more than x % between any two defined marking periods.
  • At any time you can search for "un-processed sections" - that means sections for which the teacher has not yet submitted grades.  Woe unto those last few teachers that are holding up your report cards!