Opinion: Keep PowerSchool open

At the end of every quarter, St. John’s locks students out of PowerSchool for about a week, or until administration re-opens the app for students and a new quarter has begun. This is unfair because many students rely on PowerSchool to see their grades and need opportunities to improve or seek help before it’s too late to resolve. It is stressful for every student, because they cannot see their grades and talk to their teachers before the quarter ends, taking away any chance at redemption for their grade.

PowerSchool should not shut down at the end of each quarter because not only do students need to see their grades, but they need to talk with their teachers about any possible mistakes or missing assignments that could affect their grades. The end of the quarter is the most important time to have access to PowerSchool because it is the most pivotal point in the semester. If students can’t even see when they haven’t turned something in, how are they supposed to fix it? “I feel like it’s annoying because it’s frustrating for students to not be able to access their grades for an extended period of time,” said Elizabeth Clarke ’21.

Most of the students that I interviewed shared similar opinions in that PowerSchool should not shut down. One of the other arguments they brought up was that PowerSchool stays shut down for about a week, even after the quarter ends. This is especially frustrating for students trying to maintain a certain GPA or high grade in a certain class

I did find one student who did not agree with the above sentiments in James Rogan ’20, who said, “I feel like teachers need the reprieve from their students and students need a break from the grade notifications. Overall, I think that the PowerSchool shutdown is a good thing.”

This is one of the main arguments for shutting PowerSchool. Students “annoy” their teachers about grades. But, students are actually more likely to push their teachers for grades if they can’t see their scores themselves.

Mrs. Marks, freshman biology and sophomore chemistry teacher, said, “I mostly agree with it shutting down, reason being that students are so anxious about everything it doesn’t help them to have a million notifications popping up about their grades.”

There is an argument to be made for locking PowerSchool in the best interest of the students’ mental health. There is no doubt that students stress over their grades, especially at St. John’s, but in my opinion it is more stressful not to be able to see my grades. If I can’t see what I’m getting in a class toward the end of the quarter, I stress out more than I would if I could see and understand why my grade is dropping or rising.

It seems as though the PowerSchool shutdown mainly benefits teachers and lets them grade at their leisure. If teachers abuse this time to cram all their old grades into PowerSchool, how can they condemn their students for not spending their time well? The administration and teachers do a great job of teaching us how to stay on task, but it’s frustrating when they don’t take their own advice and spread grading out through the quarter. 

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