Let students in

Let students in

Midterm reports are a tool meant to be used by students in order to gain insight into their academic performance halfway through a semester. The grades and comments are, supposedly, for the students’ use to help them improve in their courses. Note how in all of this, I’m talking only about students. Parents are not mentioned.

In previous years, midterm reports were mailed home in an envelope addressed to the student. While there was a letter enclosed in the envelope to parents, it stated that the reports were for the student’s growth.

This year, midterm reports were emailed to parents. I personally didn’t even know that reports had been sent out until my mom called me downstairs to help her log into the school’s online portal to view mine.

I appreciate that the school is trying to save paper by putting such reports online. I appreciate that it is trying to become more tech-savvy by using websites such as Veracross for parents to view comments. However, if the administration is going to start to use password-protected sites for documents important to our school work, they need to let us access them, too.
Our grades are our responsibility. We have the right to be told how we are doing and what we could improve on at the same time that our parents are told. Now that they are sent solely to parents, midterm grades – which do not count for anyone except first semester seniors and are subject to vast changes – are viewed with the same amount of anxiety as semester grades are.
Midterm reports should serve as motivators for students to do better. After all, it’s students who can implement the suggestions teachers give them to improve their work, not parents. Reports should not be the stressors that they have become because they affect nobody but the individual student.

If the decision to send grades out via Veracross is one that will continue for all future midterm reports and semester reports, then students need to be notified that they have been sent out at the same time the parents are notified. In addition, students need to be granted the ability to view the reports on their own Veracross accounts.

It is unfair that students are passed over when our own grades are being shared with our parents. If students are included in the sharing of reports, then either way parents will be able to see how their children are doing. They are our grades. They are the product of our effort. We deserve the ability to view them ourselves.

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