Powerschool Problems

Powerschool Problems

Posted on 25. Mar, 2014 by eshafer in Features

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Students express their frustration with teachers regarding timeliness of grades

by Ellise Shafer, ‘17

Freshman Brooke Scheinberg prepares to start her homework after a long day of school. With the end of the quarter nearing, her workload has increased, making the knowledge of her grades much more important. As part of her usual routine, she logs onto PowerSchool and begins to scroll down to reveal each course’s grade. Has the math test been graded yet? she wonders. How did my FLC essay affect my grade? However, as Scheinberg finishes scrolling, it is apparent that no new grades have been entered into the system. Sighing, she closes the tab and returns to her studies.

PowerSchool can be useful to students, but it can also be a source of frustration. Scheinberg said this is especially true when assignment grades, particularly those of large projects, are not posted in a timely fashion.

“It gets really frustrating because they give us three days to study for a test, but then we have to wait a month for it to be graded,” Scheinberg said.

History teacher Joe Endres said that grading is not easy for teachers. However, Scheinberg knows firsthand that there comes a point when students’ annoyance turns into frustration. According to Scheinberg, this usually occurs at the end of a quarter or semester, under the circumstances that a large project or paper has still not been entered into PowerSchool.

“[When grades aren’t entered] I think it sort of hinders my education because I don’t know if I need to get my grade up or if I need to seek extra credit opportunities,” Scheinberg said.

According to Principal Ryan McClure, there is no official grading policy currently being enforced.

“There is not anything official that’s there, it’s just an understanding that it should take a reasonable amount of time to get assignments graded and then entered into the system,” McClure said.

Like Scheinberg, senior Givi Garcia has become increasingly irritated with teacher’s grading routines.

“I’ve only had one or two teachers this year that put in grades one or two days later and it’s actually extremely frustrating,” Garcia said.

However, when presented with this information, Endres claims that teachers do the best they can with the time they have.

“For teachers, grading is an endless activity. It’s something that never gets done,” Endres said. “It’s like laundry: as soon as you complete it, there’s another day’s worth of dirty clothes that begin to fill up the hamper.”

Endres said that students should also take into consideration the countless other responsibilities that teachers have. History teacher and cheerleading coach Christine Hayes understands the challenge of balancing teaching with her other responsibilities.

“I think it is that we are overwhelmed with lesson planning, entering items onto Moodle or Edline, IEP conferences, coaching responsibilities, weekly meetings every Thursday, and one-on-one work with students, not to mention the fact that teachers have children and spouses that also deserve some attention,” Hayes said. ”Very little time is built into our day to get papers graded.”

Although grades not being entered in PowerSchool in a timely fashion has proven aggravating for students like Garcia and Scheinberg, according to Endres, it could be possible that not enough credit is given to teachers for all they do.

“What students witness teachers doing in the classroom is only the very tip of the iceberg,” Endres said.

If it becomes necessary for a student to see a grade, junior Audrey Pottschmidt said that student initiative may help to dispel concerns.

“I remember one of my teachers would give us our grades at the end of the quarter or even after that quarter’s grades had been sent in, which made it hard to do well,” Pottschmidt said. “I still did okay in the class and learned a lot, but that’s because I took the initiative to meet with my teacher during study hall and sometimes before school.”

However, if talking to a teacher does not work, French teacher Traci Erickson said it is important for students to remember that teachers are aware of this problem, and are doing their best to find a solution.

“Oftentimes, I wish I could get quizzes and assessments graded, entered into PowerSchool and returned to students faster than I do,” Erickson said.

According to Erickson, teachers understand that this frustrates students.

“I think teachers should grade and post work as quickly as they can,” Erickson said. “Waiting until the end of the quarter prevents students from being able to keep track of their progress.”

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