JHS Transitions to Online Grade Books
By MELISSA POLLACK
As part of the new contract negotiated between the Jericho School District and the Jericho Teachers Association, all middle school and high school teachers are now required to post their grades online.
The District has chosen PowerSchool Grade Book as the application for grade entry. There are many differences between this program and Edline. Ms. Rosenberg explained, “The difference with the new parent portal is that we are not only opening the grade book, we are also opening up the attendance component so parents will be able to see when the child is absent or late for a class. Edline couldn’t give us that. Parents had to log in for different classes with multiple children in the building and would have to possibly go to fifteen or sixteen different places to be able to see grades. Now it is all in one spot.”
Previously, teachers were not required to post students’ grades online. Italian teacher Signora Bozzo was just one of the many teachers who never posted grades on Edline. “I was never quite sure if I knew how to do it properly, but now that we have the training it doesn’t seem to be very difficult,” she said. Currently, she is content with the new policy and thinks that “it’s good for the students and parents to be able to keep track of how they are doing.”
AP Environmental Science teacher Mr. Strout previously used Edline for posting grades online. “I prefer the old one because I did a lot on mine, and when I gave online quizzes it went automatically into the grade book,” Mr. Strout said.
AP Biology teacher Ms. Ciasulli used Edline for the grading component and now uses and prefers the PowerSchool grade book. ” Now that we are on a live program, the parents and students get immediate access to any assessments that are uploaded such as tests, labs, projects, etc. Some teachers don’t like that, but I do. I know that my grade book is not only up to date, but accurate. Secondly, we don’t have to do progress reports anymore because since the parents have access to the grades right away, there is no need to do progress reports. Third, because PowerSchool is linked to the school program of how we distribute the report cards, I don’t need to upload anything. It’s going to be drawn directly from my grade book,” she said.
Most parents are happy about the new components of PowerSchool. Parent Ilene Forrest said, “PowerSchool is a good platform and is very informative. It gives the parents an opportunity to really look into the success of their kids in school.”
However, not all students agree. Senior Maria K. said, “If I want to tell my parents a grade, I’ll tell them. They don’t need to look for themselves. I don’t even know my username or password and I don’t think my parents do either.” Senior Lindsey S. said, “I feel that if they wanted to implement a new system, they probably should have taught us how to use it. It just doesn’t make sense in having both PowerSchool [for grades] and Edline [for assignment posting]. I am overall confused.”
Some students like the new online grade posting requirement. Senior Shreya C. said, “Last year, not every teacher posted their grades online, but now that they are required to benefits me because I would not know my grade until the end of the quarter and wouldn’t be able to improve it. Now I know when I need a teacher’s help.”