First day of school. Backpacks stuffed with new school supplies. New shoes laced up tight. New outfits. As students, we can adjust to “new” changes as long as we are informed prior to them impacting our academic experience. For seniors especially, college applications require us to research schools and write essays. However, we had no notice that PHS lacked a college counselor to support us for the first four weeks of school until we walked into the College and Career center, only to find parent volunteers.
Then, we opened our Chromebooks and asked, ‘where are our grades?’ For all of our high school career, there was a simple answer to this question: Infinite Campus. The system was straightforward and worked well. But surprise hit us again when some of our classes’ grades could not be found on the online system, familiar to both students and parents. While some teachers are keeping their grading solely on Infinite Campus, others are transitioning to Schoology, a website we were not told how to access. From Google Classroom, to Schoology, to Infinite Campus, students’ heads are spinning with all the different grading and assignment turn-in systems.
Students should have been informed about the shift from Infinite Campus to Schoology at the beginning of the year, rather than seeing blank spaces on the Infinite Campus grading page two weeks into the grading period.
If you want us to be successful, we need clear directions in advance of how to turn in the rigorous curriculum and assignments that teachers expect as well as of where to find our grades on those assignments. Administration should keep students and parents up-to-date with these continuous changes. We can cope with change. We have new teachers, new courses, and new clubs every year. What is hard for us is being informed too late. Even if a clear solution does not exist, please let us know the change is coming so we can prepare for missing faces and black spaces.