Online Grading Benefits Everyone

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“Welcome to the Student Information System (SIS). We hope you find it useful and easy to use.”

These are the words that greet the school’s students when they log onto the new but hardly improved online grading system. Yet despite its initial consequences, SIS serves an overall constructive purpose for students, parents and teachers.

It will be mandatory for teachers to utilize the online grading system this year. No longer will students and parents have to bug seven different teachers for grades. Now parents can easily access their child’s report card with an SIS account and a few clicks.

This rightfully earns the approval from parents.

“It makes parents aware of how their children are doing,” parent Teresa Anderson said. “If children are having a hard time and need extra help, parents can find out and do something.”

Some teachers wonder if giving parents this power is not overdoing it. After all, some high schoolers are already becoming legal adults. Hindering a student’s independence should not be the school’s goal.

“I think kids can handle [their schoolwork] on their own,” history teacher Derek Miyahara said. “If parents need to know something then it should come from the kids.”

But surprisingly, many students don’t mind the intrusion. The system’s greatest drawback can be used as an incentive.

“I’m okay with [my parents knowing],” freshman Kelly Hoover said. “It keeps me on my toes.”

However, compelling teachers to update grades periodically poses a problem to those less familiar with the software. In fact, some have complained that a few teachers fail to update weekly. But this problem is only temporary, according to Spanish teacher Veronica Palma. “Once you get over that hurdle,” the program proves beneficial.

“It forces me to be more prompt about grading things,” Miyahara said.

The site is difficult for English teachers when it come sto large assignments such as essays or reading assessments. The English Department has to distribute particular points to each whole letter grade, a requirement that the department can really do without.

“I am worried that [the online grading system] could increase the focus on grades rather than on learning, said April Oliver, English and dance teacher.

Even so, Oliver does agree that the system is highly serviceable for struggling students, which is what the school is aiming for.

“For shy children, it’s a way for students to get information they otherwise might not get,” Oliver said.

Also questionable is that unlike in previous years, grades are not displayed in neat charts respective to their classes, teachers and periods.

The system demands that students select a class to view separately from other classes. Information is “complicated” and “not clear,” according to sophomore Tommaso Carli.

But although the site is moderately inconvenient for both the teacher and student bodies, it is as a whole a valuable resource.

“It’s a great tool to have. It definitely helps children learn and it’s a good way for parents to keep track of how children are doing in school,” said one parent.

The advantages of SIS outweigh its drawbacks. With it, the school can fulfill its purpose of teaching and successfully communicating with its students.